It’s been one of the most unusual post-season touchdowns ever in the NFL: Last Saturday, DT Cory Redding scored on a returned fumble in his Ravens’ game at the Pittsburgh Steelers.
When Terrell Suggs hit Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at the four yard line and the ball got loose, everybody thought it was an incomplete pass and started to get ready to line up for the next down. Redding was the only one who had a different idea. He did not hear a referee’s whistle and wasn’t as sure as everybody else about the incomplete pass, so he picked up the ball and carried it to the end zone. Even the TV cameras only caught him in the background scoring while they were filming his team mates celebrating the denied pass attempt.
Indeed, the situation was ruled a fumble, not an incomplete pass, so the ball wasn’t dead and Redding was rewarded with a touchdown (see the video of the scene here).
Even though it wasn’t enough to win the game, Cory Redding taught us a lesson that we can use in our jobs as well: It’s not automatically right just because it’s the majority’s opinion. And often it pays to challenge what is thought to be the truth.
Is it really? Or is it just because everybody thinks it was?
“No, we can’t augment our prices, if we do the competition will eat us alive”
Will they? How do we know? Has anybody ever tried it?
“No, we can’t offer that extra service nobody else is offering because we don’t have enough personnel”.
Did we ever think about bringing in some additional people?
“No, we can’t simplify our business model or cut down on the product range we are offering”
Really? Even though 80% of our sales and 95% of our profitability come from only 20% of our products?
No great act of creativity and innovation ever came out of doing things the way they have always been done. No clear competitive advantage has been gained by doing things the way everybody else does.
When nobody cares that things aren’t good anymore, that things are as incomplete as an incomplete pass, it takes someone who challenges the view, someone who gets the bigger picture, someone who wants to score. Cory Redding showed us the way.