we cross-train our bodies for sports. we run speed exercises, strength exercises, balance exercises, and all in the name of becoming better football and hockey and lacrosse players. there is most certainly still a place for the fundamentals. we need to be able to dribble with both hands and shoot free throws in basketball and we still need to have the proper arm mechanics as a pitcher in baseball. but that’s not the only part of the game we need to focus on.

but there seems to be an aversion in business to cross-train our brains for the work we do. it’s nearly january which means many people are gearing up for their annual performance review and professional development talks with their management teams. so what if we did things a little differently this year?

we like to ask our managers to get a project management professional certification, but what if we asked them to take a course in computer programming instead? we want our software developers to get IEEE certified, but what if we asked them to learn about behavioral economics? what if our communications specialists took statistics? our human resources managers learned linear programming?

think of the kinds of insights could we bring back to our daily work lives. think of all the new innovations could we create if we cross-trained our minds.