“Joe Maddon used so many pitchers, (the network) TBS ran out of commercials” was a smart comment I heard last night as the Tampa Bay Rays finally used up their nine lives in this year’s baseball season. The Rays played 5 elimination games in 10 days. That’s Alamo and Masada type overwhelming odds. Maddon used 9 pitchers last night in a desperate attempt to keep the season going. The TBS commentator called it “ad libbing”.
Maddon has earned the reputation of a mad scientist in baseball. He uses more “shifts” on the field than anyone else. He has all kinds of costume and pet days in the clubhouse. He is cerebral in press conferences. He is DIFFERENT. He needs to be in a league with odds heavily stacked against small city teams and their small payrolls. He usually has only a quarter of the budget of teams like the Yankees and the Red Sox and yet has taken his team to the playoffs 4 times in the last 6 years.
Joe should also be an inspiration to IT folks.
We live in a world of unbelievable technology upheaval and economic constraints. Yet I see so many IT people desperately ask “is there a work plan for that?” . We have all been taught “Plan the work. Work the plan”. And in our instinct to trust anything that looks like a detailed methodology fall victim to consultants and vendors who are themselves stuck in the past but can present pretty pictures to suggest they can help navigate the present.
I also notice that with my books. Frank Scavo, in a review on Amazon wrote
“(Vinnie) piles on examples one after another, barely giving time to take a breath. For the rest of us, it is disorienting. But it serves a purpose: to give the reader overwhelming evidence of the magnitude and pace of the changes taking place in all industries.”
And yet, I will get requests from folks – can’t you distill everything in a checklist of 15 steps?
We are creatures of habit. We like predictability and precision. The reality is we are all Joe Maddons. We are stuck in leagues with overwhelming odds against us. We need to be be creative like Joe and make it as far as we can. Mistrust vendors who tell you they have a detailed work plan already laid out for you in these volatile times.