How to apply baseball’s ‘moneyball’ principles to lure and keep talent at your company

Dallas Business Journal

Baseball is a game. And baseball, at the major league level, is a business, as shown in Michael Lewis’ 2003 book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, and the 2011 movie based on the book.

On April 27-28, some of the country’s leading talent management executives will gather at Globe Life Park in Arlington for TalentBall, an event on how to apply moneyball tactics to drive talent and business results.

The Best Practice Institute, which is partnering with the Texas Rangers on the event, was founded to provide talent management executives a forum to share and learn best practices in the field, Louis Carter, the institute’s founder & CEO, told me in an interview. “What’s interesting about the Rangers, and why we’re really excited to be there is, the Rangers are an extremely data-driven organization in all areas,” Carter told me.

Over two days, heads of analytics and other talent management professionals will hear strategies from Rangers’ executives including Assistant General Manager Thad Levine, Chief Financial Officer Kellie Fischer, Vice President of Marketing Becky Kimbro, Director of Human Resources Mercedes Riley, Director of Baseball Analytics Todd Slavinsky, and others.

“We utilize analytics in our decision making whenever possible here at the Texas Rangers,” Fischer said. “From talent decisions both on and off the field, to how they translate into business success and baseball success, we are excited to share some of these methods with corporate executives.”
During the event, participants will share methods, models and equations behind the game of talent data, analytics and metrics.

Here are three ways that sabermetrics, or the empirical analysis of baseball statistics, can be applied to corporate talent analytics, with quotes from Carter:

  1. Talent Acquisition/Recruitment —“In baseball, we use (talent analytics) to predict performance based on other areas. It could be another ballpark, or with another Major League team, It could be people in the minors that are moving up. How do you predict their performance based on what they did in the minors? (That’s similar to) taking somebody who led a sales team of 10 and predicting how they are going to do with your sales team of 100.”
  2. Retention —“This involves keeping people within the organization, especially your high-potential or best employees. We’re able to use algorithms and formulas to identify high-potential employees that need to be developed and kept within the organization early on, before they leave. Baseball is making higher investments and higher draft picks that they identify as high potential, and they give more resources to keeping them in the organization so they won’t develop later on when they play for another team.”
  3. ROI —“You can Identify the total value of the employee and their contribution to the firm the same way you would do that with a baseball player, Take a second baseman that you’re paying $10 million vs. another second baseman making $2 million. Is that person going to get you $8 million more of an ROI to make it worth it, or not? The same thing can relate to corporate departments.

To register, visit for more information or call 561-693-2773.

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BPI Staff
Best Practice Institute is an award-winning leadership development center, think tank, product development incubator, solutions provider, peer network, research institute and online learning portal with more than 10,000 corporate and individual learning members around the world. BPI's entire subscriber base includes over 42,000 managers, coaches, directors VP's, SVP's, and C-level's of branded, "household-name" Fortune 500/Global 1000 organizations worldwide. BPI has been named to Leadership Excellence magazine’s “Best in Leadership Development” ranking since 2011. BPI corporate and individual members are located in about two dozen countries on five continents, including executives and employees the majority of Fortune/Global 1000 organizations.BPI's faculty includes over 200 experts and world-renown thought leaders. Typically, BPI faculty members teach as professors or Chairs of Departments at Ivy League Schools and/or have contributed a wide-body of original research, innovative publications and practice to the field of management and leadership. The organization reaches more than 500,000 HR leaders, and management professionals around the world each month.