Starting afresh. Lessons from Scrabble.
In a recent after-dinner game, one of my opponents chucked it all in…and won. What if business could play by the same rules?
In Scrabble, if you’ve got a heap of mediocre letters, you can shove them all back in the bag, miss a move and start all over again.
It sounds so appealing, but of the 30,000 games that allegedly start each hour somewhere on the planet, I’ll bet the vast majority run without any such palaver.
It just doesn’t feel right to start again, even though it can really transform your success in a game.
As soloists I think there are times when we should consider this manoeuvre.
After all, why should we struggle with what we have in front of us, when with a surge of courage we may well trade a step backwards for a potentially much greater leap forwards?
Happily, the world’s most popular word game not only shows us the concept, it suggests a methodology that points us to what we need to consider.
"Why should we struggle with what we have in front of us, when…we may well trade a step backwards for a potentially much greater leap forwards?"
For starters, of course, we must take a good look at what’s already on the board. In business marketing, this translates to closely researching the existing marketplace.
Before we consider turning our world upside down, we should forecast (as far as is possible) what wonderful new, shiny things are likely to surface when we dip our hand into the little green bag.
There’s little point changing when all the high scoring or most useful letters have already been played. In such circumstances we’d be better to focus on what we already have, and work even harder to reveal new ways of delivering solutions. Head down, brain whirring.
Next, we should take note of available opportunities, or in Scrabble parlance, the triple and double word squares.
It’s all well and good to plan the offerings we’re seeking to bring to market, but we need room to make a good return.
If there’s not a healthy smattering of opportunities still available, we risk never making up for that missed go.
However, if gaps abound and our current inventory allows us no chance of grabbing them, this may well be the perfect time to consider some uncharacteristically courageous steps.
Who knows, you may find yourself looking down at muzjiks. Not
If you could start afresh would you? What other business tips can we learn from Scrabble?