This coming Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots will take the field at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale for Super Bowl XLIX, one of the largest sporting events in the US. For one team and their fanbase, it’ll be the culmination of a year of hard work, plenty of passion, and more than a little blind faith; for the other, there will be only what ABC’s Wide World of Sports so memorably termed “the agony of defeat.”
It’s not hard to see how the Patriots and the Seahawks made it this far: stars like Derrelle Revis, Rob Gronkowski, Richard Sherman, and Marshawn Lynch are some of the best athletes in the game (and maybe deflating some footballs helped, too?). But to quote baseball’s great Yogi Berra, sports are only half physical – the other 90% is mental. Head coaches Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll – two of the greatest football minds around – are a big reason their respective teams are playing in the Super Bowl; and what’s more, they know they can count on quarterbacks Tom Brady and Russell Wilson to quickly respond to opposing defenses. On-the-field developments happen quickly, and when they do, Brady and Wilson can call a huddle, revise their game plan, and tell their players exactly what’s needed of them in order to move the chains, pick up that first down, and keep the drive alive.
And now, thanks to the huddle room, the same sort of fast-paced, everyone’s-in-this-together collaboration typified by the football huddle can be applied to the business world! In case you haven’t heard the term before, a huddle room is a small meeting room designed for easy, often spontaneous collaboration. It’s like a leaner, meaner conference room, with space for three or four people, ideally loaded with technology to empower this small group to get the job done. And just as a quarterback calls a huddle to coordinate his team’s Super Bowl-winning push into the end zone, a manager uses the huddle room to get her team focused and pulling together towards their common goal.
Most of us will never lead our team to a Super Bowl championship. Many of us can’t even throw a decent spiral to save our lives. But when you go into your office’s huddle room, inspire your team to put together a fantastic presentation, and use that presentation to land the big account, you’ve got a lot more in common with Tom Brady and Russell Wilson than you might have thought. So everybody, hands together, and “huddle room” on three. One… two… huddle room!