Sunday, September 25, 2011

"Billy" Beane for the Disruption

Like most kids I played baseball growing up, Little League and then Senior League, before giving it up for track in high school. It was fun hanging out with friends, developing rivalries with the other teams, yelling hey batter batter batter.....swing, from the dugout. I have to admit that I don't follow baseball very close anymore, I don't know many players names and only keep up with the AZ Diamondbacks, who are doing very well I might add:-). Despite me not knowing every stat of every player in the league, there are many amazing baseball stories that have inspired countless books and movies over the years.

I recently went to see Moneyball starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, "A story of Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players." Like any Hollywood movie based on a true story, I am sure there were a number of changes to keep things interesting and people planted in the seats, but what I took away from the movie was very simple. Beane brought disruption to the organization. By using sabermetrics to build his team, he caused discomfort to the traditionalist of the game and was quickly criticized when the team got off to a rough start.
Sound Familiar
The wheels in my head were spinning throughout the movie as I kept thinking about how disruption is so difficult for most people to accept and when it happens, how quickly the change is condemned unless there is immediate success. Once Beane had his team together, he used stats to build relationships with the players and it gave them an understanding of the why...sound familiar? I won't give away a few great scenes in the movie where others have their aha moments, but there are a number of them that could be used with staff as examples of how change can be something positive and professionally stimulating.

Final Quote
Like I mentioned earlier, I am not a die hard baseball fan and I am sure there are many arguments by purist that may argue Beane's methods of constructing a baseball team. However I think many scenes in this movie will be used by leaders as examples that disruption is not a bad word and changing the way we have always done things is OK. I will leave you with my favorite quote from the movie, "adapt or die!"       

1 comment:

  1. JC- Nice post!

    We're in a technology renaissance, whether we like it or not, and our learning environment should reflect that. The last thing I want is for my kids to "power-down" to come to school.

    ...Now I want to go watch this movie.

    Kind regards,


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