At the end of the game during Super Bowl XLIX, Seattle Seahawks’ head coach, Pete Carroll’s decision to pass over the middle was a bad call. It doesn’t matter that he was a gambler, as posed by Rob Pait in last week’s post, “Requiem For a Gambler: Why Pete Carroll Wasn’t Wrong”, it was a bad call.
There were other factors that changed this from a gutsy call to a bad one — below are my thoughts albeit as I play ‘Monday Morning Quarterback”, a luxury the coach on the field never has:
So, you use what’s available to you and what has succeeded against the opponent. Carroll went against this convention which proved to be his ultimate demise.
I agree with Mr. Pait’s acknowledgement that taking calculated risks that defy convention is often the right call. Well calculated ‘gambles’ are attributes of real leaders and can often make all of the difference. To work with leaders that fit this mode is fun and rewarding.
I know this because TriAxis walks the path with true IT leaders – individuals that don’t want to follow convention simply because it’s the safe play. Folks that can think around corners and put excellence ahead of perceived permanence. Greg Folsom, SVP of IT at Arnold Worldwide, fits this mode and has saved his firm tremendous amounts of both CapEx and OpEx money while accelerating forward their infrastructure as it has aligned with corporate goals. He did this by ‘gambling’ on more advanced technology that was lesser known. The equivalent of Russell Wilson rolling out (not passing into traffic) on 2nd and goal from the one with a timeout, four points down and the Super Bowl on the line.
Working with emerging brands is a gamble on both the technology resellers’ side as well as the end-users’. To do it in a way that ameliorates risk is to look at all sides of the equation – the classic “Ben Franklin List”, if you will. Developing this list collaboratively with the end-user and see if it is a “win win” situation with manageable risks.
To put it another way, if the risk reasonably could include an interception at the goal line, ruining the entire year and possibly causing a CLM (career limiting move), then the risk may be too high. But if you can roll out like Russell Wilson, keep the risk low and the reward high, then I say do it!
Let me know what you think.
Tom Mumford is Co-founder, CEO & CTO for TriAxis, Inc.
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