Oakland Athletics General Manager, Billy Beane, is upset by his team’s loss to the New York Yankees in the 2001 postseason. With the impending departure of his star players to free agency, Beane needs to assemble a competitive team for 2002, but must overcome Oakland’s limited payroll.
He hires Peter Brand, a young Yale Economics graduate with radical ideas about how to assess players’ value, and they defy conventional wisdom to assemble a team of misfits that go on to win 19 consecutive games, tying for the longest winning streak in American League history.
Moneyball is a classic underdog sports drama. It reaffirms, perhaps, the most profound maxim, that winning is a team effort – something, successful Sales organisations know all too well. But, it isn’t uncommon for companies to accord undue focus on stars.
The much abused Pareto Principle or the 80:20 rule is often cited as reasonable rationale to disproportionately support and incentivise upper quartiles (top 1-50% of the Sales force) to do more. This is prioritised over raising the productivity of the bottom quartiles, with relatively more scope for improvement.
But, does this supposed conventional hold water? Well, we ran the numbers, and it turns out, it doesn’t.