How Are You Playing Your Super Bowl?
An 85-year-old franchise. Three appearances at the Super Bowl with no joy. A former high school coach. A second-string quarterback. Pitted against the quarterback that has won more Super Bowls than any other player in the history of American football. Against a dominant franchise with nine appearances at the Super Bowl winning five out of the nine. The pre-game rhetoric painted the game as a no-brainer done deal. The New England Patriots and Tom Brady would do what they always do…WIN! Somebody forgot to tell Doug Pederson and the rest of the Philadelphia Eagles.
What was the secret sauce?
Champions aren’t born…they are made. What we saw in Super Bowl LII was the combination of solid teamwork, perseverance, courage to take risks, and innovative plays. In other words, flawlessly executed “Design Thinking”. The design thinking process is based on a methodology of Heart - Head - Hand. Heart - corralling human emotion to empathize and inspire. Head - using all the experiences and knowledge of the team to ideate and innovate new approaches to dynamic, complex problems or situations. Hand – deliver on the potential outcome with perseverance and courage.
Missed field goals, holding, and offside calls didn’t shake the Eagles. There was no ranting on the sidelines or meltdowns on the field. They stayed focused, they kept going, and they had each other’s back. Has your team or organizational structure been purposely designed and trained to empathize with each other and your customer’s desired experience? Do you know how to funnel that emotion into innovative solutions to complex problems? Design Thinking depends on collaborative teamwork to solve real-time challenges. It leverages a multi-disciplinary team to holistically experience and” feel the challenge”, then create solutions to meet the challenge.
The Eagles never quit. They played a full 60 minutes of football. A Super Bowl with no sacks? That was a record breaker. But the Eagle front line didn’t stop coming or going for it on every down. And then, when it counted most with just over two minutes left on the clock, Eagles player Brandon Graham made the defensive play of the game sacking Brady, forcing a turnover, and delivering a field goal score that would seal the deal. Design Thinking leverages a prototyping and testing methodology to prove out the ideated solution. The reality is that it will take multiple iterations to solidify the solutions. Do you stick with it? Are you playing the full 60 minutes of the game?
Courage to take risks
“Among the many wonders of Sunday night’s championship game, a 41-33 Eagles upset of the Patriots, was Pederson’s fourth-and-goal call near the end of the first half. Philadelphia running back Corey Clement took a direct snap and pitched it to tight end Trey Burton, who found quarterback Nick Foles with no one remotely near him in the end zone. The Patriots had not accounted for the quarterback, because why would they? It was “Philly Special,” and it’s already lore.” - The Washington Post. According to Pederson, the team had only practiced the play five or six times as a “what if” solution to a fourth and goal scenario. It would have been gutsy to attempt the play in a playoff game, much less the Super Bowl, and yet Pederson took the risk. Risk is a core part of a design-centric culture. Just ask Apple, or Coca-Cola, or IBM. The number of innovative solutions that failed far outnumber the number that succeeded. But the ones that succeeded far outperformed anything on the market and changed not only a marketplace, but transformed a culture.
Design Thinking - A Catalyst for Disruptive Innovation
As I watched the pre-game show, the interviewer asked Tom Brady, “Do you think the Eagles will bring anything today that will surprise you?” and Brady responded, “I doubt it”. Is that what your competitors say about you? MATRIX Business and Agile Transformation consultants serve our clients by guiding your continuous transformation from project-driven to customer and product design-centric cultures that disrupt markets, stun competitors, and delight customers. How are you playing your Super Bowl?