Authors relate business theory to footballWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
While America is watching the Super Bowl on Feb. 7, many things fans will see on the field are great lessons for people in business, according to the local authors of the book, “The Two-Minute Drill: Lessons for Rapid Organizational Improvement from America’s Greatest Game.”
The textbook for achieving rapid change in business was published by three local academic and business leaders, Clinton Longenecker, Greg Papp and Timothy Stansfield.
“The two-minute drill is a perfect analogy as it relates to organizational change and improvement,” Marvin Lewis, head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, wrote in the foreword for the book.
“In the book, Clint, Greg and Tim have made a very strong case that the practices associated with
a two-minute drill in football have direct application to real and rapid improvement in the workplace,” Lewis wrote.
When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell read “The Two-Minute Drill,” he wrote the authors, stating “Glad you used football to teach so many valuable lessons organizations can use. Brilliant! This is a great example of the game giving back to the fans.”
The two-minute drill model captures the essence of the critical elements surrounding the final two minutes of a football game in which one team needs to move the ball quickly and score to win the game.
Each of the elements of the model applies directly to organizational change initiatives in business,
according to the authors.
Based on the two-minute drill model, the book combines legendary football finishes with a series of actual business cases to help readers learn and apply skills
for creating and managing successful change initiatives.
“The Two-Minute Drill” is designed to give business leaders a vehicle that they can use to drive real improvement when the stakes are high, time is short and real results are needed,” stated the authors about their concept.
“We emphasize the importance of making effective change is leadership and to be serious about change requires a game plan,” said Longenecker,
a professor in the College of Business at UT. “It’s impossible to affect change without good leadership.”
“Leadership is the first step in affecting change in business as well as football,” said Papp, president of Cube Culture Corp.
The ultimate success rate for both a football and an organizational two-minute drill is highly dependent on the skills and attitude of the quarterback, according to the book.
“Effective change requires one quarterback on the field in control of the game, especially in the two-minute drill. If you want change to happen, leadership must support it completely,” said Stansfield, president of IET Inc.
“Most successful change is done faster with a sense of urgency, while focusing on the defined goal with great leadership. The two-minute drill is a mindset that can direct teams or companies to achieve significant change,” he said.
The book provides numerous business cases to help readers learn and apply skills for creating and managing successful change initiatives. Each chapter focuses on key elements of the process for rapid change, offering momentum builders that are essential to making real change happen in business.
“Having played quarterback and run the two-minute drill in college, it is no different in business. Organizational change and transformation demand
action, so define winning, prepare, communicate, seize control, adjust quickly, and above all, execute,” John Meier, chairman and former CEO of Libbey, Inc., was quoted on the jacket of the book.
“I made the ‘Two-Minute Drill’ part of my playbook and you should also. The clock is ticking on all of us.”
“I’m a huge football fan and believe there are many parallels between team sports and business. ‘The Two-Minute Drill’ is one of them that really works. Approach your next change with the two-minute drill and you’ll see what I mean,” Jani Miller, CEO of Central Travel in Toledo, stated in the book.
Miller said that she and her company have worked with Longenecker for many years on strategic planning for their business.
He helped Central Travel to develop an employee appraisal program, called
Performance And Review System, which they continue to use.
“We’re so fortunate to have that level of expertise locally,” Miller said.
The authors have consulted with many local, regional and national
companies teaching the theories of the two-minute drill, including Cooper Tire, Marathon Oil, Harley-
Davidson, La-Z-Boy, Johns-Manville, and ProMedica.
“Thinking about change as a two-minute drill can help leaders energize their people and make better use of both time and talent. It works!” Randy Oostra, president and CEO of ProMedica, stated in the book.
The fundamentals of the two-minute drill apply to all types of challenging business situations, such as product launch delays, quality problems, profitability shortfalls or distribution issues.
“Businesses can accelerate their organizational changes or improvements if they approach the problem-solving process with the two-minute drill mindset,” Longenecker said.
For the past decade, the authors conducted ongoing research on both successful and unsuccessful organizational efforts at change. The book chronicles the driving forces for successful transformations, as well as some of the failures.
The authors used various methodologies of data collection, including interviews, focus groups and surveys. Their sample of more than 1,000 managers in all of those methods included 31 percent senior management, 36 percent middle and
33 percent front-line managers.
The authors reported they have reached 12,000 to 15,000 people with talks, seminars and workshops since the book was published in 2007.
One presentation was made to 800 human resource leaders in Michigan last year.
They have numerous seminars and workshops scheduled in 2010
in Detroit, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis and other locations, Longenecker said.
The three authors, who have known each other for 25 to 30 years, converged in 2005 to discuss rapid change in business. The relationship to the two-minute drill in football was originally Papp’s idea.
The trio started writing material for the book in August 2006 and completed the text for it in January 2007 after several reviews and revisions, “and we’re still friends,” they said .
They chronicled more than 1,000 change initiatives and put together a book proposal. It was published in the fall of 2007 by Jossey-Bass of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. The book has been on a number of bestseller lists for businesses that are making a difference, such as the American Management Association’s best-selling books of 2008, Longenecker said.
They have published six journal articles to help spread the word about “The Two-Minute Drill,” including “Effective Manufacturing Improvement” in the January 2009 edition of Industrial Management, and “Quarterbacking Real and Rapid Organizational Improvement” in the Winter 2009 publication of the Leader to Leader Institute.
For more information, go to www.twominutedrill.org or contact Clint Longenecker at email@example.com.
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