We've Got to Think Differently

One of my favorite questions to ask is this: who likes to re-read books and re-watch movies? I find it interesting how many people have firm beliefs about this question. Some people cannot stand to watch a movie they’ve already seen or read a book for the second time, while others love it. Personally, I like to because I always find something new the next time around. One book and movie I continually find myself drawn to is Moneyball.

It is about legendary coach Billy Bean and how he takes the Oakland Athletics baseball team to new heights with his out of the box coaching style. Moneyball is more than just a story about a sports team. It has powerful lessons about challenging yourself and your company to be exceptional.

A key message from Moneyball is the importance of thinking differently and questioning everything. Constant adaptation to your environment and continuous strategic planning is critical to the success of your organization. You can’t grow and be your best if you are riddled with inefficiencies and stuck in the past. Change should be a part of your continual business practices, and embracing it is exactly how the Oakland A’s found success.

Look beyond traditional metrics and find numbers that are better indicators of undervalued assets. Before, the Oakland recruiting system was driven by scouts’ opinions, and their traditional metrics didn’t account for the team’s undervalued assets. The revolution of their team occurred when they stopped taking the conventional routes of recruiting players and began to seek out numbers that were better indicators for their team. In the same way, your business needs to look past the metrics used by everyone else, and find metrics that fit you. Discover your practices, not what you’ve heard are best practices for others.

Another takeaway is the importance of finding the value in your business. For the Oakland A’s, value was players who in the past were unrecognized and unappreciated. By beginning to study statistics like on-base percentage and slugging percentage, they found players who got on base in simple ways. Consequently, they won games.

You can also learn to win games. Keep in mind that looking for undervalued assets often plays runner-up to the more glitzy pursuit of top line growth. How true it is in business that we are so focused on the traditional end results that we forget about the steps that get us there. Finding value in your organization is about seeking out new answers and asking new questions.

The story of Billy Bean and the Oakland Athletics baseball team not only transformed the game of baseball but also the world beyond. Allow it to inspire a change in your organization as well. Dive into your resources to become more powerful by thinking differently, digging deeper than traditional metrics, and thus discovering greater value.

Until next time…we are Advoco, make every minute count.

About Marty: As a partner at Advoco, Marty is responsible for strategic direction and business development as well as ensuring the success of client initiatives. He has a deep understanding of the EAM industry and is very aware of the challenges faced by organizations today in the pursuit to drive efficiency to bottom-line performance. Always reading a business book, Marty is a business strategy guru, but when he’s not brushing up on the newest leadership trends, he’s cheering on his Clemson Tigers. Have a question for Marty? Send him an email!


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