By: Joel Pruis
As we go through the economic seasons, we need to remember to reassess our strategy. While we use data as the way to accurately assess the environment and determine the best course of action for your future strategy, the one thing that is for certain is that the current environment will definitely change. Aspects that we did not anticipate will develop, trends may start to slow or change direction.
Moneyball continues to be a movie that gives us some great examples. We see that Billy Beane and Peter Brand were constantly looking at their position and making adjustments to the team’s roster. Even before they made any significant adjustments, Beane and Brand found themselves justifying their strategy to the owner (even though the primary issue was with the head coach not playing the roster that maximized the team’s probability of winning). The first aspect that worked against the strategy was the head coach and while we could go down a tangent about cultural battles within an organization, let’s focus on how Beane adjusted. Beane simply traded the players the head coach preferred to play forcing the use of players preferred by Beane and Brand.
Later we see Beane and Brand making final adjustments to the roster by negotiating trades resulting in the Oakland A’s landing Ricardo Rincon. The change in the league that allowed such a trade was that Rincon’s team was not doing well and the timing allowed the A’s to execute the trade. Beane adjusted with the changes in the league. One thing to note, is that he changed the roster while the team was doing well. They were winning but Beane made adjustments to continue maximizing the team’s potential. Too often we adjust when things are going poorly and do not adjust when we seem to be hitting our targets.
Overall, we need to continually assess what has changed in our environment and determine what new challenges or new opportunities these changes present. I encourage you to regularly assess what is happening in your local economy. High-level national trends are constantly on the front page of the news but we need to drill down to see what is happening in a specific market area being served. As Billy Beane did with the Oakland A’s throughout the season, I challenge you to assess your current strategies and execution against what is happening in your market territory.