Tag Archives: Super Bowl XXXIII

Super Bowl Synergy: Free Music From U2


Here’s a quick, practical example of Super Bowl-sized synergy. Synergy is the collaboration of two or more organizations to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their individual effects.

Synergy works best when it’s just a natural alignment of organizations’ regular activity. When you align what companies are going to do anyway, nobody has to spend additional money and the impact is far greater–exponential even.

Here are seven organizations and their individual goals. Let’s see if they align and synergize:

U2 wants to sell music. They need a big debut for their next album

iTunes wants brand exposure and market share

Red (the not-for-profit) wants to raise money and awareness to get medicine to the poor

Bank of America wants to be the top of mind brand bank to this generation

This generation wants global impact, and, like every generation, they want to feel cool

The NFL wants big, cool commercials during the Super Bowl broadcast

The poorest of the poor need medicine to stay alive

Here’s what these seven separate groups are doing together this Superbowl Sunday:

Bank of America will run a TV commercial during the Super Bowl that will feature U2 and debut their new single “Invisible.” The spot will tell consumers they can download the single for free on iTunes, and that BofA will donate $1 to Red for every download (up to $2 million). Consumers will also become aware of this need and can donate additional funds to Red with the click of a button. Those donations will be matched dollar for dollar by other Red donor organizations such as the Gates Foundation.

It’s good business and contributes to the common good.

The campaign is expected to raise more than $10 million in total to fight AIDS tuberculosis and malaria. Everybody wins (except for the losing team of the Superbowl). It’s good business and contributes to the common good.

My guess is that Monday after the Super Bowl, U2 will easily hit that two million download goal. And, iTunes will gain market share. And, consumers will get free music. And the Super Bowl will get buzz. And, Red will have raised $10 million. And, the poorest of the poor around the globe will get medicine so they can stay alive.

Below is a pitch from Bono on how you can help eradicate this disease. And, remember, you’re helping do just that simply by downloading U2’s new single “Invisible” from iTunes on Super Bowl Sunday.

20140125-072707.jpgHere’s another example of synergy and alignment: You can listen to my friend Mark Hall’s new Casting Crowns album, Thrive, for free on iTunes Radio. You can buy it, too, and also read his new book, also called Thrive (published by my company).


The Caterpillar that Killed the War Machines


When he was young, my son used to call them “callapitters,” but in this case, I’m not referring to the little creatures with multiple legs. I’m talking about the big yellow construction and earthmoving trucks. I’m referring here, to Caterpillar, Inc.

Maybe they’re called Caterpillar because of the incredible metamorphosis they underwent when transforming from a war machine company during World War I, into what has since become the world’s largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, as well as diesel and natural gas engines. Today, Caterpillar ranks #44 in the Fortune 500, with more than $70 billion in assets.

It’s been said that Caterpillar shut down its war machine operation for two years to focus on retooling for times of peace, giving them ample time to strategize, plan, implement and execute with operational excellence. I like to cite Caterpillar’s story as an illustration whenever leading a team through change. Almost immediately someone on the team rightfully states the stubborn fact that “we can’t shut down everything just to retool.”

It’s right about then that you show your team the great EDS commercial from the 1999 Super Bowl, where they are “building airplanes in the sky.” Click the image below to watch:


After the team takes this in, everybody is laughing together and someone says, “It’s better to laugh about all this than cry.” The group acknowledges that we don’t have a war chest of cash giving us the luxury to shut down for two years to plan for the future, and you acknowledge that you’re all in it together with the same common purpose. Then you plan together, as a team, capturing the high level view of your preferable future, as well as the mission critical “must dos” to keep the legacy business healthy. When you and the team own the change mission together, you’re naturally aligned and more apt to trust and support each other as you steward your organization through change to positive results.

When you’re leading change, what do you do to keep everybody motivated and aligned?