Home > The Lean Post> Super Bowl 2014: It's All About the Coaching
The Lean Post
Sharing how the world is making things better through lean.

Super Bowl 2014: It's All About the Coaching

by Tom Ehrenfeld
January 31, 2014

Super Bowl 2014: It's All About the Coaching

by Tom Ehrenfeld
January 31, 2014 | Comments (2)

It’s nearly impossible to avoid seeking lean lessons in sports. Nothing like reflecting on something that we don’t consider work to gain a few insights about work. And with the upcoming Super Bowl, a game in which teamwork, a game plan, and constant adjustment plays a huge role in superior performance, I got to thinking about which of the two head coaches (The Seahawks' Pete Carroll and The Broncos' John Fox) this year would be considered more "lean" in his approach?

After a bit of unscientific research, I came up with neither. My candidate, based on this interview, tilts me towards Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly.

Here we have a guy who didn’t base his NFL success on the same plays that brought him college accolades. Rather, he imported his key principles, based on a scientific approach. As noted in the article, “there was obviously a philosophy of being inquisitive” to Kelly, who is seen as “someone who challenged the obvious.” And—this will sound familiar to anyone who's worked with lean leaders who have been exposed to serious practice—Kelly doesn't provide answers. Rather, in contrast to every other job candidate who sought to dutifully answer all the questions, Kelly volleyed back with questions to the questions, examining the situation at all times. Why? And, why?

Sounds like the qualities we look for in lean leadership. How about the two chief engineers of the Seahawks and the Broncos? Who in your opinion is playing the lean game and why? And of course by lean game, I mean who’s in it to win?

The views expressed in this post do not necessarily represent the views or policies of The Lean Enterprise Institute.
Keywords:  coaching,  musings
Search Posts:
Kaizen Express
By Toshiko Narusawa and John Shook
Toyota Kata
By Mike Rother
Was this post... Click all that apply
HELPFUL
INTERESTING
11 people say YES
INSPIRING
3 people say YES
ACCURATE
3 people say YES
Related Posts
2 Comments | Post a Comment
Ron Phipps January 31, 2014

While coaching is one aspect, the successful last minute leadership adjustments in the gemba that Manning is becoming famous for is another.

And, maybe how organizations are managing the ads of the big game also have some lean parallels. 

For example, Doritos has been generating excitement by involving their customers in developing their ads for a few years through a competition. H&M is literally using the voice of the customer to decide which ad to show during the game.  They are also using the Superbowl to create a whole new value stream - enabling customers to purchase their product directly from smart televisions as the ad is displayed.  And, Intuit is creating value to their reputation by sponsoring ad space for the small businesses that won their online competition to get the ad spot. 

Want to assess or show organizations the value of their investment in the ads?  Preview ads before the game, vote for your favorites- old and new, and check out all the hype, history and economics of the ads at 


Superbowl-ads.com



Reply »

Hawks Fan February 06, 2014
interesting take, but lean is all about results, and based on that, Carroll wins the argument

Reply »

Search Posts:
Kaizen Express
By Toshiko Narusawa and John Shook
Toyota Kata
By Mike Rother
Be Prepared to Change Your Habits
Learning Through Struggle
Striking With The Zen Stick
Tough Empathy
Lean Writing Has a Gemba
Summer Reading
"What Did I Transform Today?"
'Twas the Night Before Kaizen