In the National Football League, you get toward the end of the season, and you face a reckoning. 14 of 32 teams advance to the playoffs, two more than previously advanced from 1990 - 2019 ($$$). This means that many, many teams have false hope. You can have a 7-8 record, and because a game has been added to the schedule this year ($$$) you could finish 9-8 and potentially make the playoffs. It's hard to do that, however, when you spent 3.5 months winning six games and are now required to spend 3 weeks winning 3 games.
It's painful when it is over. Maybe your are a Broncos fan, or a fan of the Washington Football Team, or Cleveland Browns. It's about over. Vikings / Saints / Falcons fans are on the brink. Only one in five of the Dolphins / Chargers / Raiders / Ravens / Steelers will move on to the playoffs.
Sometimes you face more than missing the playoffs ... you face the end of an era. Your Seattle Seahawks are there. It's possible everything changes there ... coach, management org structure, departure of the legendary quarterback, it's all up for grabs.
Yesterday I wrote about retail and the coming "financial manipulation" of retail brands. Spinning off e-commerce divisions, spinning off the off-price channels, it's the end of the omnichannel era, and it's like having a 5-10 record with two games left in a forgotten NFL season.
Always remember that the end of an era is usually paired with a new beginning. There is hope, there is optimism.
Catalog brands face the end of the print era ... sure, there will be catalogs in 2031, but there won't ever be trust of the paper industry again. Retailers face the end of the omnichannel era ... sure, businesses will be tightly integrated in 2031 but the pundit-fueled dream came to an end in 2021.
If you face the end of an era, get busy. Start anew, and be optimistic. Rebuild. Demonstrate some Leadership. Take care of your customers. You don't have to adhere to old standards.
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