Harvard Business says BB was......

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    Harvard Business says BB was......

    What Innovators Can Learn from Bill Belichick
    06:09 PM Friday November 20, 2009
    This article came fom Bloomberg News. They have an interesting perspective on BB's decision. Might change your mind about his tactics.

    By Scott Anthony

    Even non-football fans probably heard about Bill Belichick's "blunder" of a call on Sunday night. Believe it or not, the call — and the firestorm that followed — has important lessons for innovation managers.

    A quick recap. The New England Patriots led the Indianapolis Colts by six points with two minutes to go. It was fourth down, the ball was on the New England 28 yard line, and the Patriots needed just two yards for a first down that would almost certainly have sealed a victory. Conventional wisdom called for a punt, but Coach Belichick decided to go for it. After the Patriots fell just short of the first down, the Colts marched into the end zone and won the game.

    Reaction was swift and almost universally negative.

    But there's statistical evidence that Belichick followed the right approach, that his move marginally increased the odds that the Patriots would win the game. Of course, the Patriots didn't win the game, but had the situation played out hundreds of times, a coach using Belichick's tactics would win more frequently than one who didn't.

    What does this have to do with innovation?

    First, the "Belichick incident" highlights the challenges facing a leader who makes the hard, right choices.

    If Belichick had punted and the Patriots lost, no one would have complained. Following a seemingly non-conventional approach opened Belichick up to criticism. Successful innovation requires similar bravery. It isn't easy to go after non-existent markets or follow non-obvious approaches when analysts and investors are grilling you over minute-by-minute results. After all, naysayers tend not to criticize risks you don't take.

    The other important implication relates to rewards. People moaned about Belichick's decision because the result was negative. Just like companies reward people who hit their numbers and penalize those who don't.

    Getting world-class at innovation requires moving beyond rewarding results to rewarding behaviors.
    Remember, the odds that an initial strategy is right are very low. If a team learns quickly and cheaply that initial assumptions won't pan out, they should be celebrated, not castigated. In the long run, those behaviors will lead to more successes than failures.

    No one said leading innovation was easy. Getting uncommon results, however, sometimes requires following uncommon approaches.

     
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    Re: Harvard Business says BB was......

    Interesting perspective view. I'm not surprised to find this view coming from those who spend time dealing with and espousing the traits of those who will be dealing with great success (or great failure) while making difficult decisions. Whether it be in the board room, at the operating table, on the firing line in making financial decisions or influencing potentially hundreds of individuals security with their decisions...making quality decisions requires strength of ego that is tempered by altruism. I'd wager that Belichick WILL NOT gamble if faced with the exact same situation in a winner-take-all situation in the future though. 

    It is one thing to lead a team as head coach; still something altogether different in leading a corporation, financial team or squad of Rangers in Iraq.

    As for Harvard publishing this story as some tacit statement that explains or endorses risk taking despite the consequences? I'm not at all surprised.

    Leadership types at Harvard have the strength of ego to withstand criticism if/when they might fail...some might say that Crimson "strength of ego" is similar to those who have graduated from other esteemed Ivy League schools like Yale, who are named George Bush. Others might call that "strength of ego" more simple arrogance or callousness.

    Recent research comparing male and female attitudes to risk and in risk taking behavior would clearly indicate that men tend to be "intoxicated" by successes and also tend to ingnore the "conservative" route when GREAT gains are seen in taking risk. One might be so bold to say that men are responsible for our current recession due to their callous pursuit of profits.

    I'm not sure that Bill Belichick "learned" a great deal last Sunday. I'm convinced he didn't care much if the Pats won or lost the game last weekend though.
     
    I will take the opportunity to point out that he had another "fourth and short" situation today and eschewed going for it late in the game; opting to punt.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from proftom. Show proftom's posts

    Re: Harvard Business says BB was......

    BB tried to win the game, he went for the win very confidently. Thats a good way to run a business. He didn't play it safe. He knew the risk, and if you look at the big picture of things that play might be the dominant media topic of super bowl week....  
     
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    Re: Harvard Business says BB was......

    One perspective I heard came from Mike Krzyzewski, he said that maybe Belichick believed that outcome of the game was not that important to the Patriots end of season outcome, and with that knowledge, he chose to try an out of the ordinary thing given the situation.  In other words, Belichick had the luxury to try this without suffering a great deal should the try fail.  Additionally, succeeding was less important than the information and experience gained from play. 

    Now - Coach K is a college coach with many more games than the NFL and many not nearly as important as a single NFL game.  But he has a point. 

     
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    Re: Harvard Business says BB was......

    BB didn't care who won the game???? What are your smoking? Can I have some?

    Look, if they gained the 2 yards the game would have been over...if they didn't the Colts still would have to score.  By going for it he took control of their destiny.  Thwe Clots are a good team and given 2 minutes PM was going to drive the ball down the field and score..it didn't matter that it would have be on the clots 38 or the Pat 28. 

    I'm a diehard PATs fan and even I know that...
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from TOGAH-2009. Show TOGAH-2009's posts

    Re: Harvard Business says BB was......

    Pats still lost.  They would have lost either way.  The better team won.  Period. 
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from choircontrarian. Show choircontrarian's posts

    Re: Harvard Business says BB was......

    In Response to Re: Harvard Business says BB was......:
    [QUOTE]Interesting perspective view. I'm not surprised to find this view coming from those who spend time dealing with and espousing the traits of those who will be dealing with great success (or great failure) while making difficult decisions. Whether it be in the board room, at the operating table, on the firing line in making financial decisions or influencing potentially hundreds of individuals security with their decisions...making quality decisions requires strength of ego that is tempered by altruism. I'd wager that Belichick WILL NOT gamble if faced with the exact same situation in a winner-take-all situation in the future though.  It is one thing to lead a team as head coach; still something altogether different in leading a corporation, financial team or squad of Rangers in Iraq. As for Harvard publishing this story as some tacit statement that explains or endorses risk taking despite the consequences? I'm not at all surprised. Leadership types at Harvard have the strength of ego to withstand criticism if/when they might fail...some might say that Crimson "strength of ego" is similar to those who have graduated from other esteemed Ivy League schools like Yale, who are named George Bush. Others might call that "strength of ego" more simple arrogance or callousness. Recent research c omparing male and female attitudes to risk and in risk taking behavior would clearly indicate that men tend to be "intoxicated" by successes and also tend to ingnore the "conservative" route when GREAT gains are seen in taking risk. One might be so bold to say that men are responsible for our current recession due to their callous pursuit of profits. I'm not sure that Bill Belichick "learned" a great deal last Sunday. I'm convinced he didn't care much if the Pats won or lost the game last weekend though.   I will take the opportunity to point out that he had another "fourth and short" situation today and eschewed going for it late in the game; opting to punt.
    Posted by WesternOregon[/QUOTE]great points. problem though with comparg men with women, as truthful but politically incorrect as this may sound, is similar with comparing whites with blacks, US to any other country (includg china and the other western nations), straights with gays, christians with muslims and so forth. one has the POWER and the other, let s just say, NOT SO MUCH. once women take over the world and US over a few hundred years, they too will get as arrogant and less conservative and bolder in their approach to risk and innovation. a female lesbian black muslim nfl veteran coach will not be so bold regardless of how good they truly were, because they do not have the same cultural, socionational or socioglobal gravitas and leverage as a straight christian white male veteran coach. bel has a level of organizational and job security that few enjoy in all of sports. pat riley may have been closest when he was coachg the heat after o6 when he won the ring with shaq. i digress.. bottom line is that bel has all the off-field professional and genetic leverage to take that kind of on-field risk. when things turn personal and one is in a bad position, its over with, like with  weis at ND! 

    same problem a mangini has in cleveland. keeps comparg his rebuildg effort with that of bel. he has never built the same level of competence, results and skill. kraft give up a couple of first rounders for bel, give him full control, plus openly made it clear he was the only guy he ever wanted to lead his team. from day one, bel has enjoyed a lot of leverage and sway. regardless of results, he had atleast a 3 year patience window. most guys are game to game or year to year. even with bel's record, he got beefed, imagine someone with a lesser record. as the chinese say, "the nail that sticks out, gets hammered in the most". status quo complacency is more easily rewarded. safety in numbers. u challenge no one, make no one think beyond the kool aid and their echo chamber choir. 

    bottom line, i agree with coach K  and others of that ilk. u do things with the full season in mind. as brady said, the season does not start for bel til AFTER thanksgivg! u must set it up. under the same situation, he WILL go for it again. like against the saints! this time, his boys should execute better! u cant coach scared or just be blinded by convention. logically and statistically, bel was RIGHT! emotionally and instinctively for most, it just felt wrong... so what? u go with the data. glad we have a coach with so much security that he can try executg out of the box at times rather than just talking or thinkg like that (hear that herman edwards)!  it is about setting up behavior rather than just the results. reason we have those results is because bel focuses more on the process and the behavior. ultimately, none of us really control the results in our lives. injuries happen, people die, get sik.. crap happens. u just can keep putting yourself in the positn to make things keep happeng!. eventually, it does or may... a lot of winners do not have rings. peyton only has one. who in that right mind, will not call him one of the all-time winners? 

     
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    Re: Harvard Business says BB was......

    In Response to Re: Harvard Business says BB was......:
    [QUOTE]BB didn't care who won the game???? What are your smoking? Can I have some? Look, if they gained the 2 yards the game would have been over...if they didn't the Colts still would have to score.  By going for it he took control of their destiny.  Thwe Clots are a good team and given 2 minutes PM was going to drive the ball down the field and score..it didn't matter that it would have be on the clots 38 or the Pat 28.  I'm a diehard PATs fan and even I know that...
    Posted by PATSONE[/QUOTE]

    What I stated was that I don't believe Bill Belichick cared one way or another if he lost the game. He probably would have preferred that he would have won, but just as Coach K. said, it really had no impact on whether his team made the playoffs or not and it's mere conjecture on your part that the C - O - L- ts would have scored if the Pats had punted to them.

    Somehow the thought that "he took control of their destiny" sounds almost romantic to some huh PATSONE? Along the lines of, "...it's better to have died fighting for our freedom in Vietnam than to have not served and allowed the Communists free reign in Southeast Asia."

    The discussion I look to have is in the vein of what the Harvard writer discusses. Which is the thought: risk and risk reward are issues intertwined within American leadership and the meek shall NOT inherit the earth.

    Funny, but that seems to run counter to Judeo-Christian thinking, upon which our country was founded.

    All things considered, when is the risky decision deemed to be moot?
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from WesternOregon. Show WesternOregon's posts

    Re: Harvard Business says BB was......

    In Response to Re: Harvard Business says BB was......:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Harvard Business says BB was...... : great points. problem though with comparg men with women, as truthful but politically incorrect as this may sound, is similar with comparing whites with blacks, US to any other country (includg china and the other western nations), straights with gays, christians with muslims and so forth. one has the POWER and the other, let s just say, NOT SO MUCH. once women take over the world and US over a few hundred years, they too will get as arrogant and less conservative and bolder in their approach to risk and innovation. a female lesbian black muslim nfl veteran coach will not be so bold regardless of how good they truly were, because they do not have the same cultural, socionational or socioglobal gravitas and leverage as a straight christian white male veteran coach. bel has a level of organizational and job security that few enjoy in all of sports. pat riley may have been closest when he was coachg the heat after o6 when he won the ring with shaq. i digress.. bottom line is that bel has all the off-field professional and genetic leverage to take that kind of on-field risk. when things turn personal and one is in a bad position, its over with, like with  weis at ND!  same problem a mangini has in cleveland. keeps comparg his rebuildg effort with that of bel. he has never built the same level of competence, results and skill. kraft give up a couple of first rounders for bel, give him full control, plus openly made it clear he was the only guy he ever wanted to lead his team. from day one, bel has enjoyed a lot of leverage and sway. regardless of results, he had atleast a 3 year patience window. most guys are game to game or year to year. even with bel's record, he got beefed, imagine someone with a lesser record. as the chinese say, "the nail that sticks out, gets hammered in the most". status quo complacency is more easily rewarded. safety in numbers. u challenge no one, make no one think beyond the kool aid and their echo chamber choir.  bottom line, i agree with coach K  and others of that ilk. u do things with the full season in mind. as brady said, the season does not start for bel til AFTER thanksgivg! u must set it up. under the same situation, he WILL go for it again. like against the saints! this time, his boys should execute better! u cant coach scared or just be blinded by convention. logically and statistically, bel was RIGHT! emotionally and instinctively for most, it just felt wrong... so what? u go with the data. glad we have a coach with so much security that he can try executg out of the box at times rather than just talking or thinkg like that (hear that herman edwards)!  it is about setting up behavior rather than just the results. reason we have those results is because bel focuses more on the process and the behavior. ultimately, none of us really control the results in our lives. injuries happen, people die, get sik.. crap happens. u just can keep putting yourself in the positn to make things keep happeng!. eventually, it does or may... a lot of winners do not have rings. peyton only has one. who in that right mind, will not call him one of the all-time winners? 
    Posted by choircontrarian[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for engaging in a little higher thinking.
    We can compare and contrast the results of different populations. It's not that I'm suggesting we install a woman as head coach but women were in very similar porfolio management positions in handling investments and did follow very different courses than their male counterparts which resulted in saving the bacon for many of their clients. Ahhh...I digress.
    Leadership, no doubt takes on great responsibility.
    Last week it was interesting to hear Coaches K., Knight and Parcells discuss leadership and their tenure at West Point. Where are leadership skills learned better but in the crucible of military training? Some military leaders (Gen. George Custer) have taken risk, costing lives. Some follow best practice to get results and spare lives.

    All that being said, do you believe that if Bill Belichick is given the exact same scenario in a playoff game (no timeouts and a 4th and 2 from his 28 yard line while leading by 6 points) he will opt to go for it?
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from shenanigan. Show shenanigan's posts

    Re: Harvard Business says BB was......

    I think most of you are misinterpreting the point of this article.  They are not saying "bold leaders make bold decision risk be damned".  They are saying making a uncommom decision- even if it is correct, opens you up to more criticism if it fails than would a decision that fails and is "common or accepted".

    Every statistical model proves the odds of Bill's decision ar better than the odds of punting it, and mathematicians have said for years that the common wisdom of always punting on fourth down is not backed up by data, it has simply become accepted.  Very few jobs in the world are as scrutinized by performance as NFL headcoach.  If a coach were to test these fourth down theories and lose 10 games in a season he would be fired faster than if the same coach of the same team who were to lose 12 games in a season using the accepted football doctrine.

    While I can't speak to your comparisons of corporations or financial teams I am fairly sure that most corporations run research and development programs as a way to test new ideas on a small scale, there is no experimental 33rd NFL franchise in the NFL so innovation can be slow as the only way to test new ideas is to try them full scale.  I can assure you in the military commanders struggle with the idea of when and if to go against conventional doctrine even if they are sure that it is outdated or wrong.  Making an uncommon decision even one backed up with sound evidence can end a commanders career if it does not work perfectly the first time.  As an example Helicopters in Iraq had typically practiced to fly close formations in combat because of a low radar signature.  However in Iraq where poor visibility can be common and radar weapons are nonexistent this  this tactic could be dangerous and susceptible to low tech weapons.  While I'm sure many commanders questioned this cold war era common wisdom, this tactic ultimately had to fail before it would change.  I'm sure there are many examples where commanders were able to go against the common wisdom before it proved faulty but this is a risky career move as well as the pschological stress of being blamed for a death that would not be placed on a commanders shoulders for a failure that followed doctrine.

    Sorry to bring heavier matters than football here but my point is NFL coaches can be crucified for going against convention when there is evidence that what is conventional is wrong.  Would Tony Sparano still have a job if the wildcat failed as many times last year as it did this year?  Probably not he would be labeled an idiot who doesn't understand modern football.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from dustcover. Show dustcover's posts

    Re: Harvard Business says BB was......

    In Response to Re: Harvard Business says BB was......:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Harvard Business says BB was...... : Funny, but that seems to run counter to Judeo-Christian thinking, upon which our country was founded. ]

    I was with you up until your statement on this country being founded on Judeo-Christian thinking.  Where exactly in the Constitution is God mentioned???????
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from TOGAH-2009. Show TOGAH-2009's posts

    Re: Harvard Business says BB was......

    In Response to Re: Harvard Business says BB was......:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Harvard Business says BB was...... : [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Harvard Business says BB was...... : Funny, but that seems to run counter to Judeo-Christian thinking, upon which our country was founded. ] I was with you up until your statement on this country being founded on Judeo-Christian thinking.  Where exactly in the Constitution is God mentioned???????
    Posted by dustcover[/QUOTE]

    Now thats the Pats fan I know!
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from ewhite1065. Show ewhite1065's posts

    Re: Harvard Business says BB was......

    In Response to Re: Harvard Business says BB was......:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Harvard Business says BB was...... : [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Harvard Business says BB was...... : Funny, but that seems to run counter to Judeo-Christian thinking, upon which our country was founded. ] I was with you up until your statement on this country being founded on Judeo-Christian thinking.  Where exactly in the Constitution is God mentioned???????
    Posted by dustcover[/QUOTE]

    That would be in the declaration of Independence. A pretty important document also.
     
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    Re: Harvard Business says BB was......

    In Response to Re: Harvard Business says BB was......:

    Finally...an intelligent discusson about the decision. Innovation/ innovative thinking is exactly what this is about. Not a lot in the football community is embracing it, but I believe it's because not many have the capacity to understand the soundness applying science to decision-making in this game.
     
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    Re: Harvard Business says BB was......

    I can make it much simpler for you. We know Belichick made the right decision because Dan Shaughnessy thought it was just horrible. What more do you need than that? 

    More seriously, I love having a coach that has the stones to make risky and/or counter-intuitive decisions and take his lumps sometimes. 
     
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