I would like to share with you a short story I wrote a few years ago.
A 75-year-old man was the team owner of a very successful professional football team, but the team had hit the wall over the last six years. The old man finally agreed to bring in additional management to help increase the teams revenue, and to improve the teams’ success on the field. The new and young manager was very eager to tackle his new position, and promised the fans and the other managers that he would not only increase revenue, but that he would put a winning product on the field. He also promised that he would widen fan base support by using new marketing and promotional techniques he had learned over the years. The 75-year-old owner was pleased with the enthusiasm of the new manager, and decided he would assist him by providing him with the team’s history of operations, personnel, and procedures, to get him started.
When confronted, the young manager laughed and said things were going to take a major
change within the organization. He claimed that he did not need to discuss or evaluate the organizations past, because times had changed, and that current day access to media had
created advanced ways of marketing and promotions. When the owner tried to speak, the young manager patted him on the back and told him, “thanks for the visit, but no thanks for
the advice.” The 75 year-old owner walked out the office in disbelief. The new manager stayed up all night for two weeks mapping out a plan that included:
– Hiring new coaches
– Drafting a franchise QB
– Increasing ticket sales
– Changing team uniforms
– Increasing marketing dollars and targeting new
After the end of a disappointing season, the young manager was invited to meet with the other managers to evaluate the year, and his individual performance as a manager. The
owner pointed out, that the last time the team had lost so many games, the organization had also lost large amounts of revenue, back in the early stages of the organizations history. The young manager was very confused about the lack of success of his sound proof plan. He had a Hall of Fame college coach, who had won more games than any other coach in collegiate history. He had drafted the best quarterback on the collegiate level, and everyone knew that a franchise QB was the corner stone of any organization. He had increased ticket prices to gain more revenue, and he had promised the fans a winning product. He also changed the team’s uniforms to give the team a new identity and a fresher look. He had marketed to new demographics to bring them in the stadium. He had no idea what had gone wrong.
The owner replied, “Remember that day I came to your office to provide you with the teams history of operations, personnel, and procedures? If you had accepted it and studied it, you would have known that the quarterback you drafted, along with the QB’s on our roster, were all pocket passers. The coach you hired is perfectionist at running an option style offense, not a Pro-style pocket passing one. During our championship years, when we raised ticket prices, we noticed a drop in our ticket sales. Once we lowered the price, we had a huge increase in our season ticket sales, which dramatically boosted revenue. If you had examined the information, you would have known that the team’s original Jersey was exceeding all the other franchises in sales, and was the organizations number one means of revenue. Finally, the methods you used to market and advertise, to those so-called new demographics, had already been tried, and were not successful. As a result, the team is now worse off with you, than it was before you arrived. Next time you get a job, pay attention, listen, and examine history, before you make decisions for the future.”
If you enjoyed this article, read similar short stories in the critical thinking manual, “What Do You Think”