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Playing the bounce

Playing the bounce

Last weekend, my son’s hockey team was playing for third place in the final tournament of the season. At one point, my son raced to steal the puck (which was good), then promptly fell on his butt (which was less-good), but got up in time to take a shot on goal (which was great). The shot deflected off the goal (which was disappointing), before bouncing to a teammate who slapped it in for a goal (which was awesome). In the space of about 20 seconds, his team went from “oh no!”, to celebrating a goal. They took home the third-place trophy that day because they did enough of the right things, and played as a team. And yes, they took advantage of opportunities—like playing the bounce.

In sports, in life, and in business, there’s no shortage of opportunities that come our way. Since they’re often disguised as roadblocks or challenges, we don’t see them all. But when we condition ourselves, and our teams, to view situations through a different lens—one that doesn’t take a situation at face value only, we’re setting the stage for playing the bounce. At my son’s game, the puck deflecting off the goal wasn’t the end of the story. It just set up what was next…a sweet goal by an alert teammate.

Every month, hundreds of readers respond to our Real Issues survey, and many share challenges they’re facing in their business. What I love about this feature is that it’s all about playing the bounce. One reader shares a challenge, and hundreds of his/her peers share insights and suggestions on what they’d do…how they’d play the bounce. This month’s Real Issue asks how much unsolicited help to offer builder customers who are making bad decisions.

One key strategy for playing the bounce is keeping our eyes open for fresh opportunities. That’s what our Hot Products from IBS roundup is all about. Manufacturers are investing heavily in R&D to deliver the products your customers need to build homes better and faster. The LBM Journal team explored the 600,000 square feet of exhibits at this year’s International Builders’ Show in search of products to help you create separation from your competition. Some of what you see are incremental improvements on existing products. Others, like the Metwood 2810HR (which allows a 6″ hole to be cut into a 2×10 floor joist), are brand new.

I was proud to judge the Best of IBS Awards this year—which is what led me to the Metwood booth to see their entry in the “Most Innovative Building Product” category. This product serves a very real need, and has the code approvals to back it up. Ductwork running into a joist is the challenge: this award-winning product enables builders to play the bounce.