We want to talk about the best movie ever.
Note: There is some cursing. None by us; Brad Pitt and the cast.
While we are Batman and Star Wars fans, the best movie in the world is Moneyball (The book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, is also excellent.)
If we were to recommend this movie to someone, we would say: There is not a great amount of action, other than some sports. There are no explosions, car chases, Scarlett Johansson, or CGI; it is simply a movie about change management and data. CHANGE MANAGEMENT AND DATA!!
It is based on the true-ish story of Billy Beane, the General Manager of the Oakland A’s. Oakland, due to the size of its market, is one of the poorest teams in baseball. For example, their budget for the 2001 season was 40,000,000.00. One of the teams in their division, the New York Yankees, has a payroll budget of $115,000,000.00.
Beane has to find a way to compete with the resources he has. He has to find a way to be competitive. Beane is desperate to find a way to win, but he keeps getting poor advice from people on his own team and their decisions, much like most marketers, are based on intuition and not hard data.
His current team relies on two things.
1. They rely on their feelings, which they interpret as fact.
2. They rely on tradition.
Listen and watch the following conversation for about a minute and a half. Listen to the intuition and bad advice from supposed “experts.”
Does this sound like your company?
First: What Are Your Goals? Are You Taking Steps to Achieve Them?
At this point, Beane has realized that his team’s goals and the company’s goals do not align. He tries to define the what the problem is and what are the criteria for success (or at least survival). “What happens to the runt of the litter? He dies!”
Here it is a little further along:
“If we try to play like the Yankees in here, we will lose to the Yankees out there!”
In marketing, which is supposed to guide business decisions, we see this kind of arcane, instinctive thinking all the time. We see this thinking drive companies; well, we see it drive companies right into the ground.
Second: If you found another way, could you make the tough call? Would you have the strength to act?
Now you see the problem. Now you see the crisis. Do you see the solution? Do you see a way out?
Beane did; he finds a Harvard trained economist Paul DePodesta (Called Peter Brand for the film–where they said he went to Yale). Together, they follow a system of analyzing baseball performance metrics called Sabremetrics, which was virtually created by amateur statistician Bill James. Going forward, they base all their decisions on hard data and statistics. They then use the data to manage their team.