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Business Is A Team Sport

Dec 23, 2018 6:43:00 PM / by Travis Jacobs

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So imagine a NFL football team that didn’t have a coach and never practiced…..

The team is made up of a few professional football players from the NFL that have at least 5 years playing in the league.


There are also College, high school and junior high school kids on the team, some of them are good, some of them are worthless and some of them are toxic and do more harm than good.

They were going to recruit more NFL players and a coach ... but they didn't have the budget for it.


Then we have the elementary school kids, which frankly can’t even tie their shoes and put their jerseys on backwards, in the third string.

Did I mention we don't have a coach ... or a leader ...


Now some of the “players” don’t know the rules of the game, or the difference between offense and defense ... don’t know which way to run if they were handed the ball ... what the penalties are ... how you get one.


In fact they don’t even know who is and isn’t on their team ... in some cases they are playing against their own team.


It's a common occurrence for one of the players to score a touchdown on their own team, of course it wasn't his fault ... the sun was in his eyes ... it was always someone else's fault ...


They are all wearing different uniforms ... no coaching staff ... no training ... no practicing ... no one even knows the rules ... what the position they are "supposed" to be playing ... no one is playing their position.


Some of the plays that are run have 4 players on the field and some plays have 16 players ... some lined up on the wrong side against their own team mates ... some have a mix of offense ... defense ... special teams ... there was even a few arguments about which team even had the ball.


Did I mention the referees didn't show up to the game, they didn't think they needed any, and no one told them the day, time and location.


Let’s just say they didn’t win and had a very hard day.  No one really knew how long the game was ... half the team left halfway through the first quarter ... some were talking to the cheerleaders ... some of the younger players went home for a nap and milk and cookies.


Some would show up two days before the game ... some two days after ... some would go to the wrong stadium in the wrong city on the wrong day ... some would go to the right stadium on the wrong day ... some showed up to play tennis ... some golf ... some would play for the other team out of spite, or because they didn't like a player on their own team ... some would play for the other team ... out of ignorance ... no one told them and they didn't have a coach


Some ... were playing in two or three games at the same time ... running between the different stadiums ... at the same time


And some would play against their own team intentionally ... to see them fail ... or they don’t give a sh*t and it all pays the same, the only thing that fluctuates is the frustration level.


The owner could never figure out why he always had a losing season ... he never won a single game ...


He blamed the players ... "their bad attitude cost us the game"


Product development & innovation are just like the NFL, it's a team sport. The star quarterback can't win the Superbowl all by himself.


There Are No Bad Teams ... Only Bad Leaders


Here are the RED flags to watch out for when developing a new product.


Common Mistakes


Common Obstacles


Let's Talk



Topics: Product Development, Product Design, Project Management, Leadership, Engineering, Simulation, Management, Communication, SmallBusiness, Design, StartUps, Innovation

Travis Jacobs

Written by Travis Jacobs

Travis is the president of JA Simulations, a product design & development firm in Denver Colorado. We help clients solve problems & get to market faster with innovative & high quality products

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