I discovered this great little game in college called Tetris (okay, I still play it today) and through countless hours of playing it, ah…studying it, I have discovered a secret that has application to the way we develop business. Are you curious? Here we go.
For those of you unfamiliar with the game, let me give you an overview. The object is to complete a series of straight lines from a variety of shapes that fall from the top of the screen to the bottom and continue to do so, never allowing the shapes to accumulate in incomplete rows that fill to the top of the screen thus ending the game. The longer you can continue to build straight lines at the bottom, the longer you play and the more points you accumulate.
There is a catch however. The longer you play the game the faster the shapes fall from the top thus making the decision time as to where you wish to place the shape much more shorter and more costly if you make the wrong move. I think you get the picture.
Here are a few thoughts to ponder:
1. The obvious move is not always the best move. There are moments when at first glance, the choice is obvious. It seems to “speak” to you only to find that the next shape would have been a better fit. The application as it pertains to business development is simply make certain you have analyzed all the angles before you make that final decision. Sometimes what seems obvious is only obvious at the moment and without proper evaluation can do more harm than good in the long run.
2. Momentum follows the right decisions-Destruction follows the wrong ones. It is interesting but as you progress in the game, the computer seems to sense when you have a grasp on making the right decision and the perfect shape to fit in the perfect space just seems to appear! This can go on and on BUT at the same time the game also senses when you are struggling and tends to drag you further down as wrong choices begin to quickly pile up. The application here is as you make the right choices about your business, momentum will follow. You will discover more opportunities when you are looking for them. You will gain greater customer satisfaction when you choose to focus great customer service and so on…Likewise, when we make poor decisions, they too create a momentum-a landslide affect that drives you deeper and deeper into destruction. When you ignore customers they will leave, when you take for granted your staff and employees, they will become complacent about their jobs and before you know it, you find yourself in an “unrecoverable” position. Let’s get off this negative thought and back to the game!
3. Determine your next move by what’s coming next. One of the great features of Tetris is that while the current shape is falling from the sky, the next one appears in a small box, thus allowing you to determine not only where the current one best fits, but also where the next one should go. Because you can see what’s next, you can make a wise decision both now and in the future. Isn’t that cool? And the business application…You can determine what direction you need to go now and in the future if you simply pay attention to what lies ahead. What is the marketplace asking for? W hat are your competitors doing; what is your strategy for getting you message out? What does our next upgrade look like? On and on.
4. Success is addicting. When you begin to “master” the game, you begin to feel you can push yourself to get even more. It becomes a challenge to improve and get better and it gets FUN. Your business should be like this. When you begin to master your processes, when you begin to see results from your hard work, it challenges you to get better and keep success going. Success can be addicting.
I hope you enjoyed these parallels between a good old computer game and business development. It is amazing what you can learn from simple concepts. So now that you know the rules, what to look for, how to plan ahead and how to keep momentum in you favor; Go ahead…it’s your move!