November 20, 2017

Bench Strength

Your World Series2Win

On the first night of November (which did seem weird), the Houston Astros captured their first-ever baseball World Series Championship. Just four years ago they were the laughingstock of the baseball world and had lost over 100 games – a near record for futility.

How did this magical turnaround happen? How did the Astros end up beating the high-powered Los Angeles Dodgers and my poor brother’s favorite team for about 50 years now?


B2Seed Wonderboy
A magic baseball bat carved from a tree that was struck by lightning?

It’s not a sports question, actually. It’s more of a thought-starter for everyone in commerce.

Talent4The Long Run

The Astros’ rise to the championship started a few years ago with a plan to acquire talent. In business, like sports, talent is the supreme commodity.

Because the Astros had played so poorly in the past, they got to pick the new players first. That happens a lot, but this Houston-based team picked really well by building a foundation that would be both competitive and affordable. Homegrown talent was the most efficient way to get from bad to really good. Later, when the time was right, they dug deep into their wallet and paid bigger money to get a few select veterans and traded a few extra pieces to get even more talent. This move took them from really good to great.

In other words, the Astros mixed training and recruiting to create a supremely talented team. It’s a good formula and one your organization can certainly adopt. Talent drives the best results.

Interestingly enough, on the morning after the Houston Astros won their championship, I noticed a headline in a Virginia magazine noting that unemployment in metro areas in our state is almost a non-issue. Pretty much everyone that wants to work is working, but that also means keeping your talent is harder than ever.

Do you have a plan to recruit, train, and retain your employees? It seems basic, but it’s a foundational element that is often overlooked by busy leaders. Take a moment – today – to evaluate your company’s situation and be mindful of the talent around you and how to get more of it on board.

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