LeBron James’s influence on the “system” of the Lakers organization

His influence is unmatched:

No matter how many times James denies that he holds influence over personnel decisions, Davis is a Laker because of the opportunity to play with LeBron. Making that pairing possible meant trading away the bulk of the team’s previous core. Plausible deniability may be his cover of choice, but James has gone to great lengths to assume control of his own basketball destiny, and has operated too meticulously to leave something as crucial as roster construction to chance. To have LeBron on your team is to fundamentally change the way it’s built, whether due to what LeBron does, what he wants, or what a front office thinks he wants.

“How can we get 2x the efficiency and better NPS scores with half the people?”

What’s your biggest aspiration for healthcare?

Whenever you see the jobs report coming out from the federal government, healthcare is always in a huge boom. We’re hiring people like there’s no tomorrow and we’re hiring those people because our processes are becoming more and more complex. But we’re going to reach a point where adding people creates no new value; rather, it just maintains the complexity. Really, what I want to say is this: “How can we get 2x the efficiency and better NPS scores with half the people? How do you maintain the humanity of good, old-fashioned healthcare in a world that could be made more efficient through technology and a redesigned process?”

Design Everything: Conversations with Jay Parkinson, MD (Part 1)

Job Quality Index

The question at the core of managing organizations

It is: “Are people doing the best they can?”

This question is the delineation line in McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y.

Of course, Theory X people don’t exist.

We all believe they do, of course, right up until the moment we don’t. This conversation between Russell Brand and Brené Brown illustrates the challenge:

A different view of leadership and the Minnesota Twins

I’m a Minnesota Twins fan and they’re having a terrific 2019 season after a long stretch of not-so-terrific results. The on-field improvements have arrived a few seasons after myriad off-field changes to their entire operation.

A Baseball Prospectus story about that transition highlighted what I believe is a better way to view leadership. It’s less about an individual and more about the group.

I talked recently to a member of the Twins front office about the concept of clubhouse leadership and they opened my eyes to a different way of viewing the entire concept, particularly as it relates to stories like those of Odorizzi and Pérez. Because so much of what actually happens in a clubhouse is seen only by players, coaches, and other team staff, fans are often fed a version of “clubhouse leadership” that stems largely from how players behave in public and/or around the media. But is that really what matters most?

Having a generally sunny disposition is never a bad thing and goes a long way in that regard, and a willingness to provide thoughtful quotes to beat reporters or television cameras can positively shape a player’s image even further. Those things have value, certainly, but some well-liked players offer zero tangible help to teammates behind the scenes and some media-phobic grumps go out of their way to share knowledge when no one is recording what they say.

Some players combine those traits, and the Twins have tried to collect as many of them in one clubhouse as possible. That’s not necessarily unique, but it’s a new twist on the old leadership cliches, at least. If someone has knowledge that can help win games, the Twins want it and they want it shared throughout every level of the organization. Anyone or anything stopping that flow — be it a manager, a coach, a player, or even a lack of technology and data resources — is now a candidate for swift change.

“If someone has knowledge that can help win games, the Twins want it and they want it shared throughout every level of the organization.”

Amy Padnani and Overlooked

I had the opportunity to attend Amy Padnani’s CreativeMornings talk a few weeks back. She was so good!

Amy took on a project as an editor on the New York Times obituary desk centered on the question of “Why don’t you have more women and people of color in your obituaries?”

The result is Overlooked, an ongoing series of obituaries for women and people of color that deserved an NYT obituary when they died but didn’t get one. There’s a book and a TV show on the way.

Not only is it an inspirational project for equality reasons, it was cool to hear her talk about navigating the bureaucracy, tradition, and status quo of the organization to make the project happen.