We have been inundated with the story of Manti Te’o and the girlfriend hoax, especially this past weekend as the NFL Draft unfolded.
Te’o is one of the most award-decorated players in college football history, as he led Notre Dame to a 12-0 regular season record and the BCS Championship Game. Everything seemed to unravel for him once the championship game kicked off – the Irish were dismantled by Alabama handily, the girlfriend hoax came to light, and he had a mediocre showing at the NFL combine with slower-than-projected numbers.
Those three elements – the NFL Combine, the BCS Championship, and the hoax – all played some part in Te’o falling from a high first round draft pick all the way to the second round, the 38th pick overall. By falling so far, he has missed out on millions of guaranteed dollars from a rookie contract and potential endorsement deals.
We can’t be sure how the weight of each of those elements impacted his draft stock, but we can certainly glean that the hoax was not an insignificant piece of the puzzle (despite NFL teams continuing to draft players with character issues in the high rounds as long as they are able to produce on the field).
Let Manti Te’o and the hoax be a cautionary tale of not applying genchi genbutsu.
Genchi genbutsu is the idea of going and seeing the facts for yourself. It translates literally from Japanese as “actual place, actual thing.” In a business setting, where there is a high reliance on data and reports, there is significant advantage to be gained by looking past the data and going to see the situations for one’s self. Genchi genbutsu helps to put a realistic visual spin on mundane, feeling-less data and information. Genchi genbutsu helps to add meaning to what the shared information is trying to tell us.
In a manufacturing setting, for example, it is beneficial to go and see a production problem firsthand instead of just relying on what an associate told you. Watch the problem in action. If scrap is the indicated problem, watch how much is being produced and see if it’s possible to identify why. If supplies are unbalanced and are causing line shutdowns, go see why.
In Manti Te’o’s defense, he made attempts and overtures to go and see Lennay Kekua himself, but each time he was unsuccessful in his quest. Obviously we now know why – she never existed, and the whole story is extremely twisted – but because somehow the existence of a girlfriend and her sad backstory made for compelling media fodder made the fact that Manti had never met her even harder to see and for Manti to publicly share.
The fact that the truth never came out while the story was getting bigger and bigger made the fall that much harder. And it certainly contributed to some of the fall of Manti in the NFL Draft.
So what can you learn from this? Apply the concept of genchi genbutsu to go and see the scenario for yourself instead of simply relying on faceless data or a secondhand report to get a better understanding of what’s truly going on.
We have contacted all of the winners of the Masters pin flag giveaway but are still waiting on confirmations from the recipients. Once all winners have been identified and acknowledged they will be announced!