Football dominates my home state of Alabama. The big debate is whether a traditional power like Alabama can continue its old school style offense and defense against the current trend in college football, the “spread” offense. More teams like Auburn, Texas A&M, and Missouri are running spread offenses previously reserved for the Oregon’s, Boise State’s, and Texas Tech’s.
Here’s the rub. Each team’s spread is different. Some pass to run, others run to pass, and some do a little of both. Texas A&M passes to set up their runs while Auburn runs to set up their passes. So which is it, and how does this relate to business?
The answer is that what most fans call the spread offense is really more about tempo than substance. Each team plays to their strengths and just accelerates the pace of what they do. That pace makes it difficult for their competition to be ready and eliminates their ability to substitute. Coach Saban tried to get a rule change through the NCAA to allow his defenses time to substitute.
In business, information technology is the spread offense. And like the spread, many companies thought the internet was the strategy instead of a tool to enhance their core strengths. The key of course is to continue to build on team strengths and then teach speed of execution.
Auburn continues to build on a strong offensive line and running game. Texas A&M continues to build on a mobile passing quarterback and big receivers. Oregon continues to build on quick, fast runners and receivers. What they all teach is speed and tempo. They also rely on a leader willing to make quality decisions on the move.
So what are your strengths and what is your tempo? Where can you pick up your pace and maintain your level of service and quality? What information technologies and social media platforms could assist you and confuse your competition? And what would happen to your competitive threat if you changed in this manner? Would they have to call time outs, fake injuries, or lobby Congress for a change in the rules?
Bottom line: Don’t worry what others call your business model. Just decide what you do best and do it faster. Finally, expect to see more points on your scoreboard and a bigger “spread” from your competition. Roll Tide!(Or War Eagle for Laura!)