I was watching the Chicago Bears play the Detroit Lions last night. I’m not sure if you watched, but the first quarter of the game was a mess – lots of penalties and a couple of challenges to rulings on the field using instant replay. I flashed back to when the NFL put in the current replay system. Some of us at the networks were a little concerned that suddenly what we were doing could become part of the game instead of us just covering what was happening since they use TV coverage to look at the calls. The concern was about a missed camera angle or a technical problem changing the outcome.
That hasn’t been an issue for the most part, and the replay system has been a good thing in my mind. After all, events move very fast on the field and it’s not always easy to get it right all the time. Sound like your work day? It does to me, and it raises a thought.
A changed call is an admission that someone got it wrong. Given the overall performance of the officials in the NFL and other major leagues, it’s very much the exception, but they do miss calls. We do too in business, but there are some big differences.
How many of us stop and evaluate the correctness of our business decisions on a regular basis? In the NFL, coaches don’t use their limited number of challenges unless it’s a critical situation (at least the smart ones don’t). The more important the situation, the more likely a coach is to ask that the officials confirm their decisions on a close play. We should do the same – solicit input from unblinking observers to confirm our own thinking especially in critical situations.
How many of us have a feedback system in place – peers, friends, customers, etc. – that can help us confirm we made the correct call? How many of us are willing to listen to the feedback (watch the replay from various angles) and keep an open mind about how well we did initially?
Have you called the control room lately for a replay? How did you do?