Businesses could learn a lot from football
As we wind down the football season, with the Super Bowl the only remaining game, I shed a tear. I love watching football. College football, pro football, Canadian League football…you name it. During college bowl season, I can literally plop myself down on the couch and start watching at noon and finish at midnight.
One thing that I really love about football is the fact that it is broken up into a series of plays. The offense calls a play, runs it, and sees what the result is. They then call the next play depending up the results. First and ten, run for 5 yards. Next play could be a run or a pass for the first down.
Businesses could learn a lot from football. In essence, they are calling plays every day. The Annual Operating Plan is a play. The Marketing Plan is a play. The Acquisition Integration plan is a play. Plays are nothing more than plans that need to be executed by a group of people. When businesses execute plays well, it is called Operational Excellence. It is called Execution Excellence. It is called financial success.
What can we, as business leaders, learn from football to achieve Operational Excellence?
Good football teams do three key things:
How do these elements of football success apply to the business of Operational Excellence?
Ask yourself these questions:
There is a new discipline of Result Management (Results Management) that is emerging that helps organizations operate more like high-power football teams. It helps make sure that everyone is on the same page, pulling in a common direction and is held accountable.
Let me know your thoughts about how football applies to business.
By the way, which college football team has won the most national championships? Alabama? Oklahoma? Notre Dame? USC? I bet that you aren’t even close. It is Princeton. Check out the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/College_football_national_championships_in_NCAA_Division_I_FBS
As a Princeton alum, I take great pride in that statistic. Of course, I have to overlook the fact that most of the “titles” were in the late 1800’s, but I have to hold on to what I can.