Is there a chance that something you KNOW to be true about your business and industry…isn’t true?
If you saw the movie, “Moneyball,” or read the book, “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game” by Michael Lewis, you know where I’m going with this.
In that case, you also know that Oakland A’s baseball general manager (GM) Billy Beane and a few data-savvy staff members changed the way that baseball teams are built.
Driven by a far lower budget than other teams had, Beane sought a better way to create and manage a winning team.
He succeeded by diving into once-obscure player statistics to create a surprising, and surprisingly successful team.
Beane studied and acted on such things as on-base percentage, a statistic that other teams often quickly skimmed as they selected players and managed them using historical – yet incorrect – models of what led to baseball success.
“Moneyball” might have lessons for your company, too.
Consider these aspects of the basic story:
Beane understood that the way potential players were assessed and selected was wrong. He knew this in spite of the industry-standard, industry-expected, industry-accepted way of doing things.
How was he so certain of that?
He knew it because he had been one of the golden prospects about whom the scouts were off-base as they assessed his past performance and future potential.
The real problem for Billy Beane was that he wasn’t fearless in the batter’s box and didn’t have the deep drive to succeed as a professional athlete that the game requires…no matter how physically talented that athlete is.
When he was building a baseball team as a GM, he was in his element.
Beane had to change the game of building a team because of financial constraints he had that competing teams didn’t.
He and the data-loving members of his staff (and others, I suspect) thrived on the challenge and the results that the record-breaking team produced under this strategy.
As the A’s won against much wealthier teams, those teams started to look closely at what Oakland was doing to produce results that were clearly more than just a fluke.
How could your business benefit from a moneyball approach to seeing and managing the details that lead most directly to the success you seek…no matter what your industry’s accepted approach may be?
Try these things:
1. Know what your key assumptions are about what leads to success for your company and in your industry.
2. Question your key assumptions.
3. Question them again.
4. Consider what might be true, instead, if something else is.
5. Create and conduct experiments of what might work better than what you’ve been doing up to this point.
6. Observe what happens.
7. Adjust your success-production process, as need be.
8. Repeat the cycle until you’re able to more easily produce the desired outcomes.
9. Enjoy and celebrate the improved results.
If you found this post valuable, share it with friends and colleagues who can use this information, too. You’ll also like the free weekly newsletter I publish. Sign up for the newsletter here.