Moneyball & Taking Action to Make Change

This week I watched Moneyball starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill.

Moneyball tells the true story of Billy Beane, the general manager of baseball team Oakland Athletics, played brilliantly by Brad Pitt, and his decision to challenge the traditional system and reinvent his team by outsmarting the richer teams.

For me, it is the perfect analogy: just because the professional services industries have always worked in one way, doesn’t mean change can’t happen.

Beane meets Jonah Hill’s character, Peter Brand, who tells him about a book called Moneyball, which breaks down the game and looks differently at what makes up winning teams using data and statistics, information that no other teams are looking at, therefore undervaluing players that win games.

The team’s scouts don’t believe it can work and the coach refuses to play the new recruits.

In one scene, Billy tells Peter why making this change is so important:

  • “Any other team wins the World Series,” he says, “good for them. They’re drinking
    champagne, they get a ring.”
  • “But if we win, on our budget, with this team, we’ll have changed the game.”
  • “And that’s what I want. I want it to mean something.”

A great quote, and there are two great analogies in this film:

The coach not playing the new players is an analogy for your industry not making the changes you believe are necessary for future success.

You’re stuck in a system that has done it a certain way for hundreds of years.

The second analogy is about taking action.

Billy knows that the system is geared against teams like his. His partnership with Peter, his determination and his actions, not just to try to win a World Series, but to bring about change in the game, is what drives the film.

In the face of overwhelming objection, you have to have the self-belief to make a change – you have to do what you believe is right – you have to stop thinking and talking about it and actually DO IT!