Could “Doinkers” Impact Your Business?

If you’re a Chicago Bears fan, it’s probably too soon to read this.  However, if you can apply this to your business it might help reduce the chances of “doinkers” impacting your game plan as you start the New Year.

Whether you’re a football fan or not, you’ve probably seen the Pepsi commercial when the potential game winning field goal hits the upright and doesn’t go through.  That’s a “doinker”, a term of endearment if you are the benefactor and something that haunts you like a bad dream when you’re not.  For Chicago Bears kicker, Cody Parkey it has been a bad dream 6 times this past season.  The last time it allowed their divisional opponent the Philadelphia Eagles to advance in the playoffs and sent his team, the heavily favored Bears home.  A tough loss.

The words “doink” or “doinker” have caught on from the sound made by the ball hitting the steel post.  But neither really have nothing to do with what it actually is.  From a football perspective it’s simply when an attempt is made to kick a football through the goal posts and the ball comes in contact with the post as it tries to pass through.  So Yes, the football can be deflected by the goal post and pass through and the announcers will still label it a “doinker”.

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What are “doinkers” in business?

They can be anything deflecting you off the direction or path of success, or anything that could prevent you from getting to where you are trying to go.  The shiny object syndrome often plays into this as well.  In business there are a lot of plans made with the best of intentions, but often too many variables are left unanswered. The greater the number of variables, the greater the likelihood your business will get off track and lose focus of what you’re really trying to accomplish.

Can you eliminate “doinkers” in business?

No, you can’t, but you can reduce the risk of having them.  The closer a kicker is to the goal posts the higher the odds are of splitting the uprights. Kicks are sometimes missed only a few yards out, but the chances of that happening are extremely rare.   In business, you may strive to only act once you’re sure you’ll score, but sometimes you have to take chances with a new product launch or expansion due to market demand even though you would like more time to prepare.  You’re trading the chances of having a “doinker” with the possibility of missing the opportunity entirely (loss on downs….?).   So no, you can’t eliminate them completely.

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Could a “doinker” be good?

Remember in football, it doesn’t matter if the ball hits the goal post, as long as it passes through it’s good.   The same is true in business.   Any seasoned salesperson who travels will have a handful of stories about how they literally took a wrong turn and stumbled upon a business opportunity.   And then there are all of the accidental inventions like Post-It Notes, Velcro, and Microwave Ovens, just to to name a few.  Mistakes can pay off, but without any real direction, it’s sort of like buying lottery tickets and hoping. Not really a strategic plan for consistent success.

What about your business?   What are your odds of splitting the uprights?  Do you feel good about the plans you have in place heading into the New Year?  Have you experienced more “doinkers” than you care to admit?   Are you getting a chuckle out of a blog post that uses the word “doinker” to help your business? 😉  

If you want to watch a compilation of Doinkers in NFL games click here.  There really have been some amazing deflections over the years.   As always we value your comments in the space below.  

Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach

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