Business and Basketball

I’m thinking about the matchups in the NBA playoffs this week between Oklahoma City and Miami. You are probably wondering what that has to do with us.

Basketball is a game that flows. What marks the game is that there is constant motion. Because there is constant motion there is constant adjustment. The coach makes adjustments with personnel and strategy throughout the game. But, the coach’s call only begins the complexity. As soon as the calls are made, the players take over. One guy fakes left and another falls for it. The game shifts like a kaleidoscope.

Our business runs more and more with that kind of flow. We get an order schedule done and a late afternoon or evening call changes everything. It becomes necessary to adjust.

The same thing happens in our plants. We plan a production run and someone doesn’t show up or quits. Or, we have new guys who don’t quite have the system down. It affects how well and how fast things get done. It is a challenge.

The same thing happens in our lives as well. We plan on things and other stuff happens – things we didn’t see coming and things that cause us to adjust our sights.

A lot of factors will determine who wins the NBA playoffs. The strategies determined by the coaches, the players that are on the court and the way the players execute and adjust to the flow of the game will all weigh in to who wins.

The teams that have gotten to the end adjust well. They don’t let a bad run of circumstances cause them to lose confidence. They battle back from adversity. They respond to unanticipated circumstances with resilience.

It strikes me that our world in business has the same circumstances.

The team who adjusts best and performs given the circumstances encountered will win.