2 Innovation Lessons From a Fifth-grader and Roger Goodell | The Garage Group

2 Innovation Lessons From a Fifth-grader and Roger Goodell

Dante Cano sent the above letter to Roger Goodell (the Commissioner of the NFL) on October 11, 2012 and 2 weeks later his idea will be implemented, having an immediate and significant impact on Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Dante watched intently, asked questions (wondering to himself why “pink” wasn’t more integrated into the actual game) and had the courage to act on his idea. The other main point is Dante didn’t share a random idea. It was an idea focused on improving an area very important to the NFL (Breast Cancer Awareness is one of a few causes the NFL has gone all-in on).

The other part of the story is Roger listened and acted. He could have easily dismissed the idea, but, in an article by Dave D’Alessandro in the Star-Ledger, “Roger looked at it and said, ‘This is a really good idea,’ ” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello recalled with a laugh yesterday. “He just thought it was great that the kid showed that kind of initiative and took the time to write, so he just said, ‘Let’s do this.’ ”

So, what can we learn from Dante Cano and Roger Goodell?

1. If a fifth-grader can spot a relevant opportunity and act on it, so can you.

2. If the most powerful commisioner in all of professional sports is open to listening to an 11 year-old and immediately acting on his ideas, you should be open too.


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