Miracle on Ice
What the 1980 Men’s Olympic Gold Medalist Hockey Team Could Teach Us
I would probably just be embarrassing myself if I shared how many times I have watched the Walt D. movie “Miracle” but suffice it to say, it’s a lot, but not as many times as I have heard the term “Transitory Inflation” lately…. Ugh… enough already! I am honoring the team’s 40th anniversary win over Finland by holding them up as a beacon of light to show others what can be achieved by a group of people that are passionate about working together for a shared goal! (yes, I am running 596 days behind but it also falls in line with my procrastination allowance index)
Back to our topic. If you haven’t seen the movie, I don’t want to spoil the ending…. So, let’s zero in on the scene where Herb Brooks is interviewing with the Olympic Committee and they comment on how they put their best NHL players, Allstars, against the Soviets the year before and were beaten. Herb’s response to that is “It wasn’t because you weren’t good enough” which is followed by looks of confusion by all attending, and in the movie, Herb goes on to explain “Allstar teams fail because they rely solely on the individual’s talent. The Soviets win because they take that talent and use it inside a system that is designed for the betterment of the team”.
So, what is our takeaway from one of the greatest stories and movies ever? (BTW, the US Team odds of winning the gold medal were about 1000-1 going into it) I think it basically states that people and companies that work closely together are going to be able to accomplish a hell of a lot more than those that ride the solo train.
I recently had a discussion with a consultant that works with companies through a process improvement methodology. I certainly believe in that strategy but also that things are moving in a different direction. When I asked him whether he would be interested in a group of companies going through their training together, he said “no.” He also said that it doesn’t work because most businesses will not share their true warts with others (his word not mine)
My response to this was – if one company gets great at what they do, that’s wonderful, but it does not guaranty a great company. Kitchen and Bath Dealers or Manufacturers don’t do business in a bubble. They rely heavily on their business partners. Want to sell a kitchen? Guess who is involved in that process. Different Manufacturers, shipping, installers, maybe plumbers and electricians, fabricators and oh right…customers. So, what happens when there are backorders, broken or wrong product, delays on top of delays, installation issues, lack of coherent communication with the customer? How does that great company look now?
The future of business is closer partnerships/relationships with the people they work with to achieve a common goal. Here are just a few of them:1. Together explore how consumer behaviors are shifting to different information and shopping platforms. This is changing more quickly than ever and will continue to do so. 2. Work together through Omni Channel Marketing to reach your customers and build a strong brand.3. Understanding how technology, systems and training can eliminate inefficiencies and increase productivity.4. Creating networks of communication so information can travel quickly and effectively between all your partners.5. Meeting often to discuss your KPI results and what areas need attention or an overhaul.
Wow!! If I could have that, I would show you all my warts and then some! Okay, calm down. I would never put you through that 😉 but imagine what a team like that would be able to do. Limitless! Stand-alone businesses are a thing of the past.
Just think about competing with what I just described above. Won’t ever happen? Stop looking back over history and think that’s what the future is going to look like. Yes, all evidence to the contrary that it won’t happen. You will see changes in the next 5-10 years that will shake most industries down to their core on how they do business. What will you be doing? Isolation or integration?
Ok, time to bring this puppy to a stopping point. The last thing I have to add is that we have been pulling dealers into this training process while the manufacturers drag their feet. Go figure. Mostly because they are busy solving today’s problems and not looking ahead.
Mindset is everything. Have fun! Thad