Daily Archives: April 25, 2010

April 25, 2010

Management 101, in Baseball as in Life

Dusty Baker looks onAfter the comedy of errors that the Reds subjected us to yesterday, Dusty Baker declined to talk to the media and instead held a closed-door meeting with the team. After said meeting, Brandon Phillips was heard to say, “we deserved what we got,” so we presume he gave them a piece of his mind. And possibly a piece of his toothpick if he wasn’t careful.

It’s traditional for organizations to respond to poor performance with a reprimand. On a second or third offense, someone may even lose their job. But these days smart companies know that what’s important is not making people pay for failing to meet expectations, but rather identifying the root cause of the problem and creating a plan to prevent it from happening again.

For example, calling the team into the board room so you can scream at them is the appropriate plan if the reason they’re sucking is because they’re going deaf and couldn’t hear your instructions before you raised your voice. Or, maybe if they are playing badly because they just didn’t understand how important it was to you that they do well.

But if the reason that the team can’t seem to remember how to run the bases is because they haven’t practiced running the bases for three weeks, maybe running a couple drills is in order. If the reason opposing pitchers last the whole game is because the team needs to appreciate patience, then maybe installing a zen garden is the way to go. If the reason the team is failing to perform to the level of their talent is lack of leadership, then ahem there probably isn’t much more you can do than blow your top and hope for the best.