The wound is fresh. What a game. What a season.
Against all odds, our beloved Cleveland baseball team almost won the World Series. Despite injuries to our best player and 2nd and 3rd best pitchers, drone incidents, and celebration sprains. But we had one strategic advantage.
And his name is Tito.
By ignoring conventional wisdom and taking calculated risks, Terry “Tito” Francona led us to all the way to game seven of the World Series. And we can all learn from his efforts. Because taking risks opens up the door to new possibilities, forces you to adapt, and can lead to incredible (World Series level) results. Something that could help any product, service, or brand.
Of course, taking risks can be daunting. Thankfully, we have some timely Tito Tips™:
Be predictably unpredictable.
Andrew Miller is the team’s best relief pitcher. And while that traditionally means not seeing him until the later innings of a game, Tito began deploying him much earlier throughout playoffs. Strange? A little. But the logic makes sense: use your best resource when it’s needed most.
Don’t let “what you know,” guide every decision you make.
Leadoff hitters are typically your fastest player who can get on base most often. However, they’re also the player who will bat most often during a game. Which led Francona to buck trends (embrace sabermetrics) and start slugger Carlos Santana as his leadoff hitter. It was a success and kick started a team culture of consistent, strategic change.
Finally, be ready to fail.
Not every risk, no matter how calculated, will yield the ultimate reward. Tito and the boys did many things right this post-season, but we didn’t win it all. Still, with failure comes growth. No doubt, the team will take what they’ve learned and be ready to change course in 2017. Because baseball, like advertising and marketing, is an ever changing landscape that rewards innovative thinking and calculated risk.
-Your livin’ on the edge friends at Brokaw.