Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Should you have been detained by inebriated and vicious leprechauns for the past 48 hours, you might have missed the Golden State Warriors defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 of the NBA Finals by a score of a lot to not very many. (Disclosure: I'm a Warriors fan.)
What the Warriors did will help you understand how to run your business more effectively and how to think about executing strategy. Here are the three things that you can apply from the Warriors' win to your business today.
1. You Don't Fight Through Adversity by Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again. The Warriors came out for this game without their tallest player and defensive lynchpin, Andrew Bogut. This seemed like madness. Cleveland has two men taller than your average redwood. Why would the Warriors suddenly start the game with five guys named Shorty? Because they realized that tall men get tired, and short men run faster. They changed their strategy in order to shock their competition. Strategy is a word, a statement of intention, and, let's face it, hope. When you're suddenly up against unexpected competition, you don't just keep doing what you've been doing. You assess what will hurt the competition, while making you stronger. Then you simply go and do it.
2. You Don't Announce Your Plans to Analysts. Some CEOs and CFOs like to tip off analysts in order to get advance approval for their cleverness. Warriors coach Steve Kerr admitted in his postgame press conference that he'd lied about his plan to a Bay Area journalist before the game. Yes, he lied. To a journalist, no less. What insane behavior. But he and his management team had worked out what needed to be done. They didn't want the opposition to know. They wanted the opposition to be stunned by the surprise. If you have worked out a winning strategy for your business, you don't announce it. You commit your team to executing the plan. Then you just do it.
3. When You Win One Battle, You Know the Next Battle Will Be Different. In the locker room at the end of the game, Kerr didn't tell his team: "Well, that worked. We'll do the same thing on Sunday." Instead, he reminded them that each game in the finals is different. He told them that there might be new challenges in the next game, ones for which every member of the team has to be prepared, ones that might not be predictable. Today's business world isn't one where you can stick to one strategy for 10 years. You have to keep adjusting and modifying, and most of all, keep surprising both your competition and your customers. Business cycles are ever quicker and ever more volatile. The minute you think you've won, something else--or someone else--comes along just to make things more difficult. In truth, you don't need one strategy. You need 10.