What Moneyball Has To Teach Boards Of Directors
A group of about ten older men sitting around a meeting table were droning on uninspiringly, making their recommendations to the general manager of a baseball team. That scene of the Oakland Athletics scouts in Moneyball reminded me of too many meetings of boards of directors. Most familiar of all was the group’s reliance on the same tired old perspectives, none of which had proven successful in helping to build a championship baseball team.
There is a difference between team scouts and the board of a corporation. A board has the ultimate authority, while scouts are merely advisors. But scouts are the general manager’s brain trust; they function like an executive cabinet. Their job is to discover and sign new players from high schools, colleges and the minor leagues. As such, their role is to envision the organization’s greatest potential, and identify and assemble the right team to build a successful enterprise.
Until 2002, scouts made their recommendations based on intuition, tradition, superstition, and the good old that’s how we’ve always done it attitude.