I’m not a huge baseball fan, but my daughter gave me the book Moneyball (used at many leading business schools) by Michael Lewis and I was eager to see the movie. Brad Pitt takes a break from his jet-setting life with Angelina Jolie to play Billy Beane, the General Manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball team. Billy Beane is well-known for fundamentally redefining the way baseball teams make decisions and challenging the way teams had been managed for over a century. He essentially changes the decision criteria used to select players to a much more fact-based model, which focuses on the real value the players bring toward the Intended Consequences (getting a win). Once he redesigns the consonants (People, Process, Technology), he quickly realizes that getting to the expected results is still far away. It’s not until he focuses on the vowels (Adoption, Execution, Implementation, Optimization and Utilization) that the results start showing up. The constraints he faces should sound very, very familiar to everyone. Follow the trail and tell me if you agree that we all need to be a Brad Pitt (no that does not come with Angelina Jolie).
According to the American Marketing Association (AMA), marketing is defined as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” As I read this definition the word value stands out to me. Adding value is key to effective marketing, yet why is it that we seem to forget that fact in our everyday work life?
What is Crowdsourcing? For those of us who operate in the world of sourcing and supply chain, it sounds familiar but may not have anything to do with sourcing or supply chain at all. If you’re not familiar with the term, it is, as defined in Wikipedia, “the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to an undefined, large group of people or community (a “crowd”), through an open call.”
Multi-step models for managing change have been adopted by most companies today. Still, teams struggle to lead their initiatives in a way that falls into the “30% that succeed” and even when projects are “complete” and progress more effectively than in the company’s past efforts, the company fails to realize the intended benefits. One quick way to identify where things fell short is to examine where time and effort were allocated throughout the execution of the change process.
It doesn’t matter how you define value. That definition is actually worth a bucket of crap (I missed that one). But I digress and will come back to that question later. Let me address the other part of my title first by asking you a hypothetical question.