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Dare to think differently, dare to be inspired.

Tue 10th April, 2012
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Dare to think differently, dare to be inspired.

Businesses today are encouraged to innovate, encouraged to adopt cost saving strategies so that they become more adept and resilient with changing market forces that always threatens the size of the profit margin.

To focus on innovative methods to reduce costs does require businesses to analyse how they approach a problem and whether they are willing to embrace a new approach that might conflict with traditionalists within their field.

A recent film released that has certainly inspired myself and enthusiastically encourage others to watch and embrace the challenge to think differently. Moneyball is a film that centres around a Baseball team within American West Team called Oakland A’s. In 2002 Oakland A’s spent $41 million on players salaries which in comparison to much larger and prosperous teams such as the Boston Red Sox spent $108 million. The Oakland A’s simply could not effectively compete and challenge for greatness within Major League Baseball. Oaklands A’S simply lacked the financial strength to contest the attentions of influential and big name players by not satisfying their wage demands.

However, by the end of the 2002 season Oakland A’s set a unprecedented sporting record by winning 20 consecutive games, achieved 103 wins in the west division compared to 93 by Boston Red Sox in the east division. How was it that Oakland A’s managed to achieve such an accomplishment. This was down to two men who dared to think differentially, dared to break accepted traditions within their sport and dared to believe in the power of “Sabermetrics”

Billy Beane, General Manager and Paul DePodesta, Scout of Oakland A’s decided to focus on the principles of “sabermetrics” to systematically measure what each player’s value to the team was based on average contributions made. Traditionalists would be more comfortable to focus on current in form players, players who conform to traditionalist playing styles or looking for the complete baseball all rounder star. The team members Billy Beane chose to add to his squad in 2002 were in direct contrast to those sacredly held beliefs.

Billy Beane chose a player in the autumn of his career, a player who had a disruptive influence to teams and an unorthodox pitcher who style is very unappealing. However, the statistics of those players in their respected positions competed and exceeded those perceived as the hot talents. In the analogy of baseball sabermetrics believe in average runs of players as it helps the teams consistently scores runs that ultimately wins ballgames.

I would like to draw a few parallels to the world of recruiting staff. Hirers have at their disposal a variety of different methods of filtering candidates from initial job vacancy responses. Traditionalists would focus on the presentation skills of the CV or application form, others would focus on the articulation and confidence of interviewees whilst on the telephone. Personality tests can be implemented to establish whether the applicant will aesthetically conform to the business culture and traditionalists perceptions of the key traits of the successful applicants.

Now let me challenge those who create shortlists of interested applicants who base their decisions on aesthetics and not on the content of the individual’s knowledge. A new method of filtering candidates based on skills and knowledge content rather than experiencing a common pitfall of traditionalist box stereotyping when they have been seduced by the polished CV or convinced by the experienced interviewees.

Nuts and Bolts It is a system that focuses on demonstrating individual’s value to recruiters based on their knowledge content and how they would apply it to specific roles. Recruiters create their own personalised questions and create the bench mark response required by the applicant. The responses can be systematically analysed and assessed in order to ascertain the potential impact on the overall team goals. Recruiters avoid that pit of your stomach feeling when you realise that you have based your selection by traditionalist methods.