Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mining for Platinum in the ‘Gretto’ - Think Moneyball!



-        An editorial by Mary Salvino

To:       Prospective Employers
From:   Grettozied Job Seekers
 
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game is a book by written by Michael Lewis that was published in 2003 and turned into a movie in 2011.  It is about the Oakland Athletics baseball team and its General Manager, Billy Beane. The book/movie is based upon a true story wherein the General Manager of the Oakland A’s was forced to reinvent his team due to budgetary constraints.

The story begins with an innocent question: How did one of the poorest teams in baseball, the Oakland Athletics, win so many games?  The story is about a small group of undervalued professional baseball players and executives, many of whom had been rejected as unfit for the big leagues, who turned themselves into one of the most successful franchises in Major League Baseball.
 
Moneyball is an illustrative quest for something as elusive as the Holy Grail, something that money apparently can't buy: the secret of success in baseball, and logically, there is no reason why that methodology for success cannot be applied to the world of business.

In baseball, the logical places to look for players would be the front offices of major league teams, and the dugouts, the minor leagues and perhaps even in the minds of the players themselves. In business, the logical places to look for talent would be the offices of your competition, new graduates, the ‘Grey Ghetto’ and perhaps even the minds of the people who are already working for the company.

What these geek numbers show—no, prove—is that the traditional yardsticks of success for players and teams are fatally flawed. Even the box score misleads us by ignoring the crucial importance of the humble base-on-balls. This information has been around for years, and nobody inside Major League Baseball paid it any mind.

Billy Beane, the GM for the Oakland A’s had the second lowest payroll in baseball at his disposal.   The book/movie book records his astonishing experiment in finding and fielding a team that nobody else wanted. The story of Moneyball is set before the 2002 baseball season opens, at a time when the Oakland team  needed to relinquish its three most prominent, and expensive, players.  The team, who was written off by just about everyone, then came roaring back to challenge the American League record for consecutive wins.

In the narrative, Michael Lewis shows us how and why the new baseball knowledge works and this system can also be applied to world of business when hiring managers take the time and effort to suss out talent in the Grey Ghetto [Gretto]. 

There are four very distinct groups of people present in the workplace today:
·            Platinum a.k.a. the Traditionalists (born before 1946)
·            Gold a.k.a. the Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964)
·            Silver a.k.a. Generation X (born 1965-1980)
·            Stainless Steel a.k.a. Generation Y or the Millennium Generation (born after 1980)

The most successful companies have a workforce that is made up of employees from all four of the groups listed above.  When you have a workforce that consists of four generations and each generation has different values, different ideas, different ways of communicating, and different ways of getting things done, you are setting yourself up for success.

To help illustrate the perspective, look at the following scenario. If you were to ask any member of the above-listed groups to recall how and where Kennedy died, those from the Platinum and Gold group would probably say J.F. Kennedy [Jack], 35th  President of the United States was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald on Friday, November 22, 1963 at 12:30 pm. in Dallas, The Silver group of employees would probably say John F, Kennedy Jr. [John-John], the eldest son of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, American socialite, lawyer, pilot and editor ‘George’ magazine, died in a plane crash near Martha’s Vineyard on July 16, 1999.  The Stainless Steel Generation would probably say “Kennedy who?”

Currently, there are fewer Platinum and Gold employees in the workplace than there were a few years ago, but that is not necessarily a good thing.  Even though each generation has a distinct communication style, attitude, work-ethic, set of behaviours, habits, and expectations, organizations should endeavour to create systems and processes that are useful to employees of all ages
In societies past, those unruly whitish colour hairs crowning the heads of the more senior members of the social order were viewed as a sign of wisdom; those who displayed them had fought through the challenges of life and earned their glittering badge of honour.

To help ensure success for your company or organization, it is critical to search for and hire those who have earned those silver ribbons. For they are the ones we you can count upon to find understanding in many of the things that vex you. They are precious.

Many employees believe that the correct way, and the only way, is their way; despite what they believe, that is not true. In business, to work effectively and efficiently, to increase productivity, and to improve performance, organizations and employees need to employ and understand generational characteristics that each group ‘brings to the table’ to ensure their continued success.

The ‘Gretto’ [Grey Ghetto] is alive, thriving and closer than you think.  Smart employers are perfectly poised to mine that platinum and also reap all of the benefits.

What do you think?

Noun: GRETTO (grettos, grettoes) gre-tow
  1. A segregated mode of living or working that results from bias or stereotyping
  2. A densely populated pool of unemployed or underemployed chronologically older job candidates who are still able to contribute in a positive fashion to the bottom line of any organization
  3. A particular segment of the population, i.e. job pool of candidates, that is predominantly occupied by this particular group because of business culture, social stigma, economic issues, or, because they have been forced to live under those conditions
Etymology:
            ‘Gretto’ [Grey Ghetto] - Term was first coined in 2012 by career and business strategist M. Salvino.

Derived:
Verb: Grettoized

History:
The growth and development of grettos is closely associated with different waves of unemployment throughout the world.

Additional information:
Grettoyte: A reluctant inhabitant of the ‘Grey Ghetto’
Grettophobe:  Someone who fears ‘grettoytes
Grettophobic: Someone who fears becoming a ‘grettoyte
Grettoism: Any cultural, social, economic, political movement or doctrine aimed at achieving such a society
Grettoist: Anyone who promotes the cultural, social, economic, political movement or doctrine aimed at achieving such a society


Copyright © 2012, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2012, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of the author, Mary Salvino. “Career Matters” is a blog authored by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career Planning.com that is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. This blog is also dedicated to those who stand a little taller each time they picked themselves up after failing and those who gained the wisdom and humility from those experiences to help others do the same. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at Mary.Salvino@shaw.ca