While lewiss book may seem like it might be a dry look at numbers that wont interest anyone other than people who are die-hard baseball fans, it is anything but dry. Besides being beautifully written, lewis never forgets the human element-the romantic side-of baseball in his characterizations of an ensemble cast of fascinating, flawed, and idiosyncratic people. He also knows what makes for an exciting baseball underdog story, ending the book with the climactic tension-filled now-famous early-september game against the kansas City royals, where the As, starting off with an 11-0 lead, slowly began to lose the lead until the final inning. This was the game that would have either broken their 19-game winning streak or continued on to a 20-game streak. It was a nail-biter of a game, and Lewis captures it brilliantly on the page. Beneath all the baseball and the economic theory, though, lewis is telling another story about the American people, one that isnt very pretty. According to lewis, people like beane-idea people, outliers with highly innovative new ways of doing things-must fight their way past almost-unstoppable barriers of ignorance, anti-intellectalism, and traditionalism.
It bumped their standing up from dead last in the league to, well, second to last. But it was something. Then, something even more interesting dollar started to happen. They started winning more games, until, at one point, they had a 19 game winning streak that didnt appear to let. Sadly, the As lost in the postseason against the minnesota Twins, and while their success to that point was something incredible, many of beanes naysayers pointed to the postseason loss as an I told you so moment, negating everything beane was trying. Clearly, he was a failure, and his ideas were hokum. Except, he wasnt, and they werent. Since 2002, more teams have begun adopting the same philosophy and methods that beane used for his team, to great success. Indeed, the boston Red Sox (a team that offered beane.5 million salary to be general manager, an offer that he turned down) won the 2004 World Series utilizing good the same metrics and philosophies pioneered by beane. Clearly, many people in baseball were changing their minds about beanes ideas: they werent hokum.
Most of the dates stats that scouts looked at were irrelevant, and scouts often overlooked more important stats. In a nutshell, beane and depodesta were looking for a player to do one thing: ensure a win. The team that beane/depodesta picked looked, on the face of it, like a nightmare of rookies, has-beens, and never-wases. At one point, someone referred to the 2002 oakland As roster as the island of misfit toys, and to most people it was an appropriate moniker. As the season opened, the oakland As lost every single game they played for the first two weeks. Then, something interesting started happening. They started winning games.
Everyone, of course, except beane. The truth was, beanes heart wasnt. If any of the myriad of scouts had asked him what he really wanted to do-go to college, for one-his life may have online been drastically different. Unfortunately, beanes baseball career was a write series of trades to teams who didnt know what to do with a decent player who didnt really want to be there. As General Manager, beane decided in 2002 that doing it the old-fashioned way just wasnt cutting. There had to be a better way. Like beane, depodesta loved baseball but saw that the sport was growing stagnant and major changes needed to be made, even changes that might initially seem destructive but would, in the long term, be better overall for the sport. One of the changes was the way baseball statistics were being used. Basing their new philosophy on the writings of historian and statistician (and baseball lover) Bill James, beane and depodesta looked at the stats of the players in a way that most people didnt.
In 2002, billy beane, the general manager of the oakland As, decided to do something so radical as to have the appearance of utter insanity. Rather than listen to his talent scouts-seasoned veterans of the sport and guys who could recognize real talent-in regards to picking players for the upcoming season roster, beane chose to listen to his assistant paul depodesta, an economics graduate from Harvard with a laptop always. Beanes theory was this: picking players based on an outdated and somewhat mystifying and undefined je ne sais quoi of inherent talent was too subjective to be reliable, and, not only that, it simply didnt work. How did he know this? Beane was living proof that it didnt work. By all rights, according to the talent scouts, beane should have been one of the sports all-time best players ever. He hit all the markers: running, catching, hitting, throwing, looks. In 1980, fresh out of high school, he was signed by the new York mets. Everyone knew, absolutely, that beane was going to go places.
Moneyball, summary, essay - 2789 Words
Small executive search firms, he adds, could be formed to supply hygiene evidence-based search procedures. Or better yet, companies could do their own searches. In addition to obtaining better selections, Armstrong notes, they would save money on the search and on executive salaries. James b, well written, excellent if you even are a mild baseball enthusiast. Starting to be somewhat dated.
The baseball community seems to be slowing moving from "he has a good face, aggressive hitter" to something more along the lines of using metrics to evaluate players. As a writer, michael Lewis has that amazing ability to write about one thing but actually be writing about something else entirely. Sometimes its meanings within meanings, and it often requires a deeper read between the lines. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game is, ostensibly, about the economics of baseball, how baseball can be looked at as a financial microcosm of the real world: the wealth inequalities between major league teams and how rich teams tend to win many more. Insofar as any book ever written about baseball is never actually about baseball, one can still enjoy moneyball as a basic underdog story, and it has the distinction of being that rare literary beast of an underdog story: a true one. But its even more than a metaphorical look at the unfairness of how our economic system works. Going deeper, its actually about our 21st-century disinterest in and-more worrisome-inexplicable discouragement of innovative out-of-the-box thinking, perhaps because true out-of-the-box thinking has the perception of being counterintuitive and diametrically opposed to everything weve been taught.
Businesses often look outside an organization to choose their leadership, trying to find people who have enjoyed success elsewhere, with the theory that they can replicate that success in their own organization, the researchers note. However, boards often give short shrift to internal candidates who tend to have better knowledge of the job, company culture and product. The authors cite a study of an investment banking division, which compared the performance of internal hires against external ones who were compensated more. The study showed the external hires performed worse and left the company sooner than those chosen from within. A policy of hiring from within might lead ambitious people to identify more closely with the firm and motivate them to prove their importance to the firm rather than trying to attract outside offers, the researchers say. Small companies tend to promote from within, and Apple, armstrong and Jacquart note, lost its way when it hired outsiders as ceos after the ouster of Steve jobs in 1985.
Given the importance and status that comes with being ceo, many capable individuals would accept a modest salary, they write, praising the mondragon cooperatives in Spain where the ceo makes less than 11 times the lowest-paid employee and works at the pleasure of the employee-owners. When it comes to executive selection and remuneration, a stark contrast exists between experimental findings and current practice, they note. Another field experiment had participants completing tasks that required creativity, attention, concentration and memory. Some were told exceptional performance would get them a small financial bonus, others were told they would get a medium-sized reward, and a third group was offered a large one. The performance of the small- and medium-bonus groups was roughly similar, while the large-bonus group actually did worse. Researchers in this experiment performed brain scans on participants and found that in the large-bonus group, the matter of the reward took up so much of their thought that there was little room for anything else. Armstrong says many executives would respond to the free-market bidding process.
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The authors point to an analysis that shows a positive relationship between financial rewards and simple, perhaps boring, tasks like installing automobile windows. For interesting long or difficult tasks, however, financial incentives did not produce better results. The authors cite a study father's showing that ceos who won awards in the press saw a marked increase in pay, while similar ceos (runners- up for the awards) saw little increase. Three years later, there was a large gulf between what the winners and non-winners earned. However, the stocks of the firms controlled by the superstars actually underperformed compared to those of the firms run by the non-winners. Executives, they write, are often held personally responsible for the success or failure of the organizations they represent without consideration of external factors, such as the state of the economy. They point to a study in which ceos of oil companies that performed strongly were compensated well, despite evidence that the profits resulted from fluctuations in the price of crude oil.
The candidates who passed that initial screening would then take a battery of tests where they would be evaluated for traits like cognitive abilities, values and self-control. Assessment centers, the primary authors write, can help demonstrate whether the job candidates can run effective meetings, make sense of data, listen to others, write persuasive reports and develop strategic plans. That information can be placed into an index model for choosing the leading candidates that would sum up their positive attributes, they add. The oakland Athletics, featured in, moneyball, used meehls Rule to great effect, but few businesses have done the same, jacquart and Armstrong point out. This is unfortunate, they add, because they expect that using the rule would help all involved. There is room for improvement — quite a bit of room, in fact, jacquart notes. When judging compensation for those who are offered the job, jacquart and Armstrong say there is no evidence that the top dollar gets, or retains, the best talent.
about hiring ceos. For instance, jacquart and Armstrong cite a study of symphonic auditions, in which the probability that a female musician would be hired increased when the candidates were judged anonymously from behind a screen. Sealed Bids, the authors suggest that corporate boards can use a method similar to sealed bids to help select top executives. Instead of coming in for a traditional face-to-face interview, candidates would be allowed to submit sealed bids about what they can do for the organization, what skills they possess, how much money they require, how long a contract they need and whether they would require. The proposals by each candidate would be cleared of any information unrelated immediately to job performance, such as gender, weight, height, voice or other physical attributes. The bids would then be given to a committee that would evaluate the anonymous candidates using a rating sheet.
E., gut instinct — in making decisions about hiring ceos, who in 2008 were paid 185 times more than the average worker. Those instincts, they note, are often triggered by factors unrelated to a persons ability to do the job at hand. Their review included a 1994 experiment in which participants paper viewed videotaped job interviews, which included some candidates who wore prostheses to appear overweight. When viewing the overweight candidates, participants made negative inferences despite no evidence that body type makes any difference in executive performance, the authors write. Armstrong says companies have more precise methods at their disposal, but are so entrenched in traditional, subjective recruitment methods that they are reluctant to experiment with new ideas. As Winston Churchill said, men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened, notes Armstrong. The biggest shortcoming of executive recruitment, the researchers say, is the failure to apply meehls Rule: never meet a job candidate until you decide to make them an offer.
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It was the lesson of the best-selling book-turned-movie, moneyball : Dont throw money at big-name baseball players or judge future performance by purely physical attributes. Assess them, instead, by more relevant measurements, like their on-base percentage. Scott Armstrong and, philippe jacquart of emlyon business School in Écully, france, say the same principles can be applied to choosing corporate executives. In a recent paper, they challenge the popular belief that higher pay leads to selecting chief executive officers who writing will outperform their lower-compensated counterparts. After doing an extensive review of existing experimental research, Armstrong and Jacquart concluded that just the opposite is true — higher pay does not attract better talent, and can be expected to undermine performance. They suggest that a better method of choosing the right leader is to use quantifiable measures to judge candidates for the job, anonymously if possible. Their paper, are top Executives paid Enough? An evidence-based review, was published, along with commentaries, in the november-December edition of the journal, Interfaces. The authors say executive search firms and corporate boards typically use unaided expert judgment —.