It isn’t figure skating, but….

The problem with figure skating, or any sport that counts style points, is that too much depends on the very subjective evaluation of the judges.  Who are these people and why do they not see what I see? Hopefully, they are experts and are objective in their scoring. Unfortunately, some recent stories of backroom deals and political influence diminish that hope substantially.

At the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Canadian fans complained that their dance team favourites and Gold Medal Winners of 2010 were relegated to second place before the competition began.  The skaters, Virtue and Moir, took the more generous version: "We won silver, we didn't lose the gold." No complaints about the judging.  Or the coaching. (Strangely, the American gold medal team have the same coach!)  But they have to wonder what they might have done to improve on the style points.

In our businesses, we should be happy that our performance - win or lose, profit or loss - is not judged, it is told by the numbers. No points for style.

But maybe not.  There are still many subtleties and subjective "style" points if you consider all the less easily measured factors that affect bottom line performance.

Consider brand reputation, corporate image, marketing messages, packaging, advertising, social and environmental impact.  Your choices on all these factors will affect the perceptions of customers, employees and strategic partners and thereby influence your results in sales and profits.

Maybe it's time to get your head out of the numbers and  check how you are doing on style.

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