Moneyball and Astroball Lessons
The book Moneyball was published in 2003. At the time, Major League Baseball (MLB) managers despised it, because the book made them look like old-school ignoramuses. A highly-recommended new take published in July 2018 and titled Astroball, summarizes the league’s transition since 2003.
Here are a few key points from the book:
- Even after Moneyball and the Red Sox’ analytically-powered World Series wins in 2004, 2007 and 2013, MLB’s adoption of analytics was halting.
- Only three owners (Sox, Cards, Astros) fully embraced analytics, and they were entrepreneurs who had become rich by exploiting analytics in other fields.
- They’re approach was to transform one operational silo at a time by hiring new, younger talent with statistically-validated skills.
- Analytics now pervades MLB and all other pro sports.
- Analytics forced every team to measurably, continuously improve, and a growth mindset became part of the culture, while the value of seniority and doing the same old things was discounted.
- Human nature, through the form of cognitive biases, strongly resists all statistical-decision thinking.
Another book, Douglas Laney’s excellent book Infonomics, has an appendix of info-avoidance excuses. There are 120 challenges listed under seven categories. These are rationalizations for a few emotional root causes, like:
- Management or veteran reps’ emotions:
- Don’t make my past, conventional-wisdom decisions look unprofitable (read: stupid)
- Don’t reduce my data-free, experiential-wisdom power
- I don’t readily get (or believe) the new data conclusions (statistical innumeracy education required)
- I have no ready answers for how to exploit new data insights. (Peter Principle promotion fixes may be needed)
- I can’t become a new, lead learner, so I’ll fight this. (Lack of we-all-win vision; laziness; entitlement; insecure incompetence)
- Don’t upset our family (socialistic) values. As in Lake Wobegon, we all are above industry averages with our data-free, wishful thinking. Rankings by measurable reality will upset both the exploited stars and the overpaid coasters. (Ask: Why can’t we hire and keep Stars?)
- Besides! We have existing plans to try harder at what we have always done.
Are You Missing These Analytical Opportunities?
- Getting core customer renewal results before competitors steal your most profitable accounts.
- Monetizing both supplier and customer (un)profitability information. Grocers have been sharing data for triple-wins with customers, stores, and factories for years.
- Using profitability information to create omnichannel solutions with factories/distributors in preparation for the cloud commerce world of 2021.
- New value solutions for sales reps, because time-and-territory, routine calls won’t work with demographically-increasing millennial, digital buyers.
Human Nature Cures?
To learn about my suggested cures, request my: “Roadmap” and “Astroball Discussion Questions” through email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or, attend my one-day seminar. Learn all about it at https://www.merrifieldseminar.com/