Offense and defense are popular terminologies used for sports. When trying to score a basket or goal players have to play offense, on the other hand, they have to play dense when protecting against a score. Offense is when a person is trying to score points, and defense is meant to stop the opposing player or team from gaining any point. According to Joshua Melick, the concepts of offense and defense can be useful in the business domain as well.
Unlike sports, it is not always clear when a person should play offense or defense in business. Businesses do not have the fixed system of each player or team getting a chance. Joshua Melick, however, mentions that business founders should ideally try and evaluate the right areas for playing defense or office in every aspect of their company.
Traditionally, the sales and marketing department might be considered to be the offense, while HR being a more defensive department. But if one tries to thoroughly evaluate the duties carried out by each of these departments, the conclusion can be a bit different. For example, the sales team of a firm constantly strives to convenience the customers how their offerings are better than the competitors. This function is more closely related to defense than offense. Conversely, a business can focus more on the offense side of their sales department as well, by highlighting the USPs of their brand in their sales materials and conversations, rather than talking about the competitors.
Joshua Melick further highlights the defense aspects of the HR department of a business, which includes protecting the company from employee issues, defending the firm against any claims raised, eliminating harassment and so on. However, on the whole, there are several tasks carried out by the HR that come under offensive play. Recruiting, which invariably is the biggest responsibility of the HR, would be an offensive activity as it contributes to business development. The benefits offered by the company to its employees are also an offense play tactic.
In addition to sales and HR, the legal department of a firm would be another place where one can find excellent examples of defense and offence play. The legal department of a company is both responsible for defending the firm against any lawsuit, as well as for suing any other individual or organization on the behalf of the company. Entrepreneurs should smartly use lawyers and lawsuits as a tool, and not just as a defense measure.
According to Joshua Melick, if a business is not actively carrying out the tasks of each of its departments as an offense tactic, then it is highly likely that the company is running on defense play. But so should not be the case. To effectively progress and gain an edge against the competitors in the modern market, offensive play is necessary in all departments of a business.