There have been countless books, articles, and essays written about how seamlessly the game of chess relates to various aspects of real life. Garry Kasparov has a great book about using chess to master your outlook on living, and bringing order to your daily chaos.
Recently, I was putting together a training seminar for our financing department, and I was researching the method in which they move business from start to finish. Some of the terms, and how they relate to each other, reminded me of our favorite game (I told you last blog, NOT Halo 2, darnit!).
This particular "Pipeline" goes through the following steps:
- Prospect (brand new customer, shopping for mortgage)
- Be-Back (former prospect, did not buy but currently but still interested)
- Application (entered into the process)
- Approved for Financing (self-explanatory)
- Funded (purchased a home, money sent to seller, mortgage has begun)
How does this relate to chess? Well, lets walk through the 'game' of financing...
The Prospect is a Pawn. They are marching in one direction, taking baby steps (or maybe a first big leap, and then baby steps). They are focused on one thing, reaching the goal (the other side of 'the board', or the financing process). The Prospect/Pawn isn't able to attack the problem directly (thus why they are looking for financing), so they come at it slightly oblique on the attack. The Pawn is also trying to mature into another piece with slightly more ability/options than he currently has.
The Be-Back is a Knight. The Be-Back has some education on 'the system' under his belt, and can move around a bit more, albeit with slight irregularity. Since he has already been through the Prospect process, he can 'jump' ahead of those still in that process. He can sit off to the side, and wait for an opportunity to re-enter the picture as a definite sale.
The Applicant is a Bishop. Having submitted the information and request for financing, this player has begun the middle-process of the game. They no longer have to worry about what is right in front of them, only angle as necessary to complete the items required to finish the application process, such as clearing stipulations or obtaining missing information for the financial institutuion.
<---This is a Bishop. Bishops get eaten by aliens.
The Approved Applicant is a Rook. With funding guaranteed, the Rook can now knock many obstacles out of the way that would previously have been considered a roadblock. Unlike the Applicant, who must come at problems by either gliding around them, or attacking them at angles, the Rook comes straight at the problem with the power of financial backing to support him. With this power, the Rook can attain his goal of purchasing his home/car/business/whatever by moving lesser-players out of the way. He already has a guarantee of money, and is working towards that ultimate goal of checkmate.
The Funded Applicant is the Queen. Its now done. The purchase is made, and the Queen has the freedom to move in any direction she chooses. The deal is closed, the house is in her name, the furniture is moved in. Armed with the knowledge obtained by going through the financing process, the Queen is quite a powerful force on the board.
But, what about the King?
I see the king as a liability. It is not desirable to be the King, as you are the most susceptible to every other piece on the board. I see the King as a player who, after financing, does not have the means to sustain their freedom and be a Queen. The King must make very careful moves, and has to watch where he steps, lest he finds himself in financial checkmate. This may be someone on the verge of foreclosure/reposession, a player with health issues and mounting medical bills (and insufficient insurance), or one who has lost their job.
The King may also be someone who has to rely on others to obtain their financing (aka 'co-signer'). While the King's desire is the successful checkmating of the process, he depends on the others to get him safely to where he needs to be.
So, that was how I viewed the financial/mortgage aspect of the business world in relation to chess. Stay tuned for more...