The World Series wrapped up last week and the San Francisco Giants won by beating the Cinderella-story Kansas City Royals in game seven. If you were paying any attention to sports last week, you surely saw a tweet, read a News story, or caught a clip from the Fall Classic.
What you might not have heard is that in the Arizona Fall League, the MLB is testing some new rules about the pace of game. The regular season of 2014 brought some new changes with the implementation of a new challenge rule in regards to questionable calls made by umpires. It’s still in its infancy but the challenge system has really helped to open a new door in the process of the game, making it less likely that important moments will be decided by a “bad call”.
Intentional walks will no longer require four pitches to be thrown. The manager will be able signal to the umpire and the batter will take his base.
Pitch clocks are being testing as well. Much like a shot clock in the NBA, it will provide the pitcher 20 seconds to get the ball to from the mound to the catcher. Failure to do so will result in a penalty.
Conferences at the mound will be limited to three per game. Right now, the catcher can run out to chat to the pitcher whenever he wishes. A system more like this would be more like the standard time out system in other sporting leagues.
In order to stay competitive, your business has to be willing to grow, change, and evolve with the needs of your customers. Take the MLB example and you’ll see that as they have been unable to pick up the “younger” generations, they are listening to the biggest complaints about their sport – that it’s slow and boring.
Their hope is that some of these new rules being tested can be implemented in the big leagues and lead to more people watching their sport, greater ratings, and better ticket sales.
You can change things like this in your own business if you are willing to listen to suggestions and take criticism. Your customers are the best reviewers of your business that you’ll ever have. They are the ones that will tell you either with comments, emails, or even choosing to take their business to other companies.
Encourage your customers to come to you and speak openly about what they like, don’t like, and even make a wish list for their needs. To be successful you need to be willing to evolve and grow. What are you doing to grow your business through what your customers need?