Anyone that considers him or herself a real basketball fan, and works in corporate America surely knows or has at least heard about the March Madness Myth. Basically the myth says that during March Madness the productivity loss, because of said March Madness costs companies $1.7 billion dollars or more. There is a reason why this is a myth but first things first.
For now, let us assume that people working in offices and cubicles are drones that can work from nine till five without thinking about anything but work. The problem with this theory is that people slack off, a lot! They do pretty much anything just to avoid doing work, of course not everyone is like that but a lot of people, dare I say the majority is like that. Now you’re probably thinking “OK so why is there such a huge perception of a productivity loss during March Madness?” First of all you can’t truly measure productivity in today’s corporate environment. You can measure numbers like profits and losses and there’s the rub.
Of course there is some productivity loss because of the 2012 NCAA tournament or other major events like the Olympics or World Cup. Saying that it’s 1.7 billion USD or more though is a big stretch. When this myth first surfaced, the economy was already in decline so the billions in losses attributed to college basketball could have very well been a side effect of the Housing and Stock Market crash!
Again let us assume that the march madness myth is correct and that there really is a huge decline in productivity. You can’t measure everything with immediate results because results come in all shapes and sizes. If people don’t think of themselves as drones they are bound to make a better impression in that all so important business meeting or sales pitch. Sometimes knowing some random facts or having an interest in something that might appear to the manager as a huge waste of time can be very helpful when you want to create trust with a client.
Business isn’t just numbers and results, people want to do business with people they like and they want it to feel right and that’s why a personal touch is necessary for bringing in that contract not just profits and margins. Regardless, just like most basketball fans, I can’t wait for 2012 March Madness to get here!