According to one study, this year's March Madness will cost companies $13.3 billion in lost productivity. Now, not everyone believes the number is that high, but the consensus generally is that the 3-week-long NCAA tournament is not the high point of efficiency in the yearly calendar. Here's the thing - that's ok. Instead of fighting the inevitable, company leadership should treat March Madness as an opportunity. It's an easy way to boost morale, bond with your team, and have some fun.
Host a company-wide bracket challenge - they're already doing it anyway, even if you don't know about it. Offer a grand prize that doesn't cost cash, like an extra day off, or convert an office lunch you were already planning into a bracket-themed bonanza. Then have a bunch of smaller inexpensive gifts for top contenders. Encourage a number of smaller pools by team to increase everyone's chances of winning something.
To do March Madness right, and to have more fun, you must introduce smack talk. It doesn't have to be mean or dirty. Sports have provided a long line of terrific trash talkers, but rappers, celebrities, and soldiers have all contributed greatly to the Western cannon of smack.
These quotes exemplify the best way to let the herd know you're the wolf. Just don't blame me when someone else's bracket comes from behind to beat yours.
1. "When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead." - Barney Stinson
2. "Don't wish it were easier, wish you were better." - Jim Rohn
3. "I don't care what you think about me. I don't think about you at all." - Coco Chanel
4. "I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!" - Dr. Seuss
5. "I don't do drugs. I am drugs." - Salvador Dali
6. "People who boast about their IQ are losers." - Stephen Hawking
7. "May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't." - General George S. Patton
8. "Just remember, the mailman doesn't deliver on Sundays, Karl." - Scottie Pippen
9. "Ladies and Gentlemen, I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot, but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose." - Theodore Roosevelt
10. "I don't talk trash often, but when I do, I go for the jugular." - Kobe Bryant
11. "I'm just looking around to see who's gonna finish second." - Larry Bird
12. "I don't know where I'm going from here but I promise it won't be boring." - David Bowie
13. "I'm not arrogant, I'm good." - Barry Bonds
14. "I got my own back." - Maya Angelou
15. "Get your popcorn ready, 'cause I'm gonna put on a show." - Terrell Owens
16. "The best revenge is massive success." - Frank Sinatra
17. "You mad, bro?" - Richard Sherman
18. "The best thing I like about human beings is that they stack so neatly." - Frank Underwood
19. "If he calls that number, I'll be sure to pick up after the fifth ring." - Kobe Bryant
20. "All right. They're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us ... They can't get away this time." - Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller
21. "Sweetie if you're going to be two faced, at least make on of them pretty." - Marilyn Monroe
22. "The question isn't who is going to let me: it's who is going to stop me." - Ayn Rand
23. "I wish people would love everybody else the way they love me. It would be a better world." - Muhammad Ali
24. "Straight cash, homie." - Randy Moss
25. "I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson