The NBA All Star Game is the equivalent of the Super Bowl for those of us who are basketball nerds. But for some time the NBA All Star game has been nothing more than a spectacle of flashy dunks, passes and alley-oops; rather than the greatest pick up game in the world where the best of the best compete to win.
But that all changed this past weekend. The NBA revamped the ASG to be more competitive and meaningful, and it was one of the best ASG in some time.
The main problem with the ASG is that while it had the all the star power, it didn’t have the competition you get from a playoff game. And they had been trying to revamp it for some time, but nothing was really impactful.
In this new iteration of the ASG, rather than rolling the points over like in a normal game, scores after each of the first three quarters will reset, and the winner of the respective quarters will receive $100,000 to be donated to the charity of its choice.
The new All-Star Game format was criticized for being too complicated & gimmicky, until they actually played the game, and it wasn't either of those things. On the smart move the NBA made to give the whole night some real heart: pic.twitter.com/YY0Ssa5EgU
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) February 17, 2020
The result was more defense, not just offense!
The ideas behind the new format came from street ball, and the result is a more competitive and meaningful game.
With all that said, here are three lessons:
- Be bold. You have to recognize when there is a problem and work to fix it, especially when you know the customer isn’t fully satisfied. Aim for a 10x improvement, not an incremental one.
- Encourage ideas come from anywhere. A player called Chris Paul was a catalyst in driving the new format for the ASG. And NBA Commissioner Adam Silver did a good job of being open to ideas and making the necessary changes to make the game more competitive and meaningful; it’s what the fans crave.
- Experiment. There is no innovation without experimentation.
Bottom line: Products, services, experiences become stale over time because people get used to the way things are done. You have to recognize this phase transition before it happens. Remember, the best time to innovate in a bold way is when things are stuck.