Observations from the NFL Draft

2024 was a record setting year for the NFL draft, as 6 of the top 10 players were quarterbacks, and 14 of the top 15 were offensive players. A total of 23 first round picks were offensive players (72%), by far a new record.

It used to be said that defense won games. Perhaps now NFL teams are recognizing that a top-rated quarterback plus some talented wide receivers can put points on the board. And that tends to help the outcome of games.

All of which makes you stop and ask the question: “How strong is your offense?”

The players

The NFL teams have it down to a science, as they review reams of data/game film and do exhaustive tryouts to winnow down their player selections on draft week. Businesses should do a similar exercise (at least annually) to scrutinize the talents, performance, aspirations, and potential of their teams. The most rigorous examination should be reserved for the top leaders of the company.

Annual performance reviews tend to focus on goal achievement, which is critical to meeting your budgets and expectations. This deeper dive is more about how your top players get the job done versus what they accomplish. Do they motivate their teams, do they communicate well (up down and sideways), do they collaborate with other functional leaders, do they delegate appropriately, do they give recognition when it is due, do they represent themselves and the company in a professional and persuasive manner? Conducting such a talent assessment with participation by all your top leaders is vital to moving the business forward.

The playbook

In addition to your talent, you should also always be evaluating your programs, initiatives, and investments to be sure you are getting the best bang for the buck, and that you are taking advantage of the latest trends and technologies. Of course, this routinely happens each month as you do your financial reporting and operating reviews. If you are on or ahead of plan, congratulations! No need to shift gears. If things are trending down or missing expectations, challenge your team to get to the root cause(s) and come up with remedial actions.

The coaches

As the top dog (or at least one of the top leaders), you are a player/coach. It is often up to you to guide, mentor, provide honest feedback, make suggestions, and lead the teams. Sometimes it is tough love; other times it is making an example of a situation to share with others; sometimes it is taking a page from a respected company or brand that is doing something particularly smart; sometimes it is simply applauding a job well done.

Our bet is you do not have the luxury of a large staff of internal strategists, analysts, or consultants. Moving everything forward is complicated, with lots of noise in the feedback system, both internal and external. That’s where we can help.

At Forge, we thrive on helping clients get to the next level. We have worked with many clients building offense plans that are grounded in solid ideas, sound strategy, brand differentiation and consumer benefits. And yes, we are big believers in the power of brains and brawn.

Take the first step to a more successful business today.

1.    Hit “LET’S TALK” to schedule a free 30-minute discussion. No pressure – we promise.
2.    We’ll provide real-world case studies showing the process in action.
3.    If we’re a fit, we finalize the details and get started!

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