Last year Americans filled out some 70 million brackets for the NCAA’s men’s college basketball tournament. And every year, family, friends and work colleagues look for the secret formula to completing the winning bracket. The President of the United States likes to weigh-in, and last year Warren Buffett even offered $1 billion to the person who completed a perfect bracket. Just one day into the tournament, 99 percent of CBS and ESPN brackets were already busted. Although no one has ever picked a perfect bracket, the number of people participating continues to grow every year.
This begs the question, what is the net effect on American business productivity? Some factors to consider:
- Impact on Internet speed from online streaming of games
- Lost hours of employee productivit
- Value of interpersonal relationships developed by drawing people togethe
Ultimately, March Madness may very well result in reduced business productivity when measured by the short-term bottom line. However, is the short-term bottom line the appropriate measurement for productivity, or is it potentially unsustainable? Perhaps one could make the argument that people are not widgets and that team productivity (success and satisfaction) can only be optimized when relationships are strong, trust is high, and people feel connected.
Much to ponder, but March Madness only happens only once a year, so why not enjoy it?