The horn sounded and another terrific North Carolina-Duke basketball game was in the books. I’m a Tar Heel fan, so I was happy North Carolina won. The team’s margin of victory came from the free-throw line, where it had 20 more attempts than Duke. Carolina players spent so much time at the free-throw line you would think they called ahead and made reservations.
In many ways, getting a free throw in basketball comes down to getting the benefit of the doubt from the referees. They decide the difference between a charging foul and a blocking foul, whether a shot was blocked legally or illegally and when to call a technical foul on lippy coaches and players.
On this particular night last month, Duke couldn’t catch a break. It was whistled for a lot of ticky-tacky fouls. North Carolina missed most of its first-half free throws. But eventually the law of averages won out, and the Tar Heels started draining their free throws. Carolina’s eight-point victory was all because the referees gave the Tar Heels the benefit of the doubt so many more times than they gave it to Duke.
How often does your utility get the benefit of the doubt from your stakeholders – customers, regulators, communities, even employees? Have you ever noticed that some utilities foul out while others spend their lives at the proverbial free-throw line, sinking shots and winning games? Which type of utility do you work for? Read more »