Many are shocked when I reveal that after 30 years of developing talent metrics, I have concluded that the best place to benchmark talent metrics isn’t a major corporation like Google or IBM, it is Major League Baseball. Ever since the book Moneyball came out, corporate and talent management leaders have been seeking out every opportunity to work with MLB to learn their metrics secrets and how to convert them for use incorporation. Now I realize that many in HR are resistant to “sports analogies”, but avoiding them, in this case, would be a huge mistake. If for no other reason, then because CEO’s love them. In my experience, CEO’s see little difference between the intense competition of the corporate world and competitive sports. In fact, the “manager of the century” Jack Welch has publicly stated that baseball is the perfect model for corporate talent leaders to follow. He reveals that business can learn a lot from sports in this powerful statement:
Business is a game, and as with all games, the team that puts the best people on the field and gets them playing together wins… You would never know it, though, to look at the companies today where the CFO reigns supreme and HR is relegated to the background… If you owned the Boston Red Sox, for instance, would you hang around with the team accountant or the director of player personnel? … The director of player personnel knows what it takes to win: how good each player is and where to find strong recruits to fill talent gaps.
The former CEO of GE is equally famous for revealing that according to his calculations “If the Human Resources department is functioning correctly and used in the correct manner, it’s the most important department in the entire company. Well “functioning correctly” requires the extensive use of metrics in a way that similar to how baseball uses them.
Dr. John Sullivan will be speaking about this and more at BPI’s TalentBall with the Texas Rangers in April. Joining Rangers’ top executives including GM Jon Daniels, their CFO, Head of Analytics, VP of HR and others, Dr. Sullivan will be bridging the gap between the successful Moneyball tactics and corporate talent and business results. Click here to register today for TalentBall.