I love football, and consider myself a huge Indianapolis Colts fan. They were on national television last night and beat Miami in a very tough game. There was one fascinating aspect to this particular contest… The Colts had the ball for less than 15 total minutes (in a “60 minute” game). This was the lowest time of possession of any winning team since they started tracking this statistic in 1977.
Time of possession is a very common metric that is heavily discussed amongst sports enthusiasts. The announcers talked nonstop of Miami’s domination of the game because they possessed the ball almost 80% of the time. “You can’t possibly expect to win, if you are not in control of the ball the bulk of the time…”
However, something very odd happened. Indianapolis won the game. The fact that they had three scoring drives that took less than 2 minutes total, was not the topic of discussion that I would have expected it to be. In fact, the pundits made the outcome seem like a fluke. As a Colt’s fan, I’m thrilled they won the game, and frankly don’t care how long they took to do so. And yet, to many this defies understanding.
How often is it that we find ourselves married to a metric, and lose sight of the goal? While it’s great to be able to track where we stand in relation to where we’re going, we should always be focused on the destination. If we can get there in a non-traditional manner, why not? We should never allow our metrics to constrain our creativity, or we lose all chance of breakthrough innovation.
I personally salute an NFL team that can win a game with such efficiency. In this manner, let the Colts serve as a model for all of us… Success is success, even if it is achieved it in a non-traditional manner.