Possibly a smaller number are aware of the recent troubled history of the franchise. In a recent issue of the Chicago Tribune, John Kass discusses the issue with Blackhawks owner, Rocky Wirtz.
“In 2004, the Blackhawks were widely considered to be the worst franchise in all of sports,” says Kass. Previous decisions by owners had resulted in few diehard fans that cared about the Hawks and left the rest of Chicago unaware of or apathetic to the team and its players.
Owner Rocky Wirtz called the situation “depressing.”
In 2007, when Wirtz took control, “we asked ourselves, what if you could start over…what if we could think of ourselves as a clean piece of paper, what would we write down?”
With that, the ownership began to reinvent the franchise and establish a new identity.
“We decided that for once we’d have the hockey people talking to the business people,” said Wirtz. “I know it sounds simple, but when I grew up around the game that didn’t happen.”
Novel ideas, I know. Starting with a clean slate. Establishing a direction. Talking. Listening. Being receptive. Making changes.
And two Stanley Cups in 4 years.
Both individuals and companies can take lessons from Rocky Wirtz and the Blackhawks franchise about reinvention, re-direction, and communication. There is no lost cause. Success is possible.
Meanwhile, what do I do with my newly acquired Monday, Wednesday and Saturday free time?