Paul Osterman: 'Moneyball' lessons for the economy

From USA Today

In the book (and now film) Moneyball, general manager Billy Beane transforms the Oakland Athletics by recognizing that overlooked players contribute value to a team. He overturns conventional wisdom, indeed upends baseball’s domination by wealthier teams,by using data to measure performance. What he learns can also apply to the economic challenges we face today.

When people think and write about what leads to economic success, they too often focus only on the most visible, highly paid players. In the case of the economy, it is the CEOs. The business press is full of praise for celebrity leaders such as Jack Welch and Steve Jobs. But even when the CEO is not movie-star famous, stories about whether a firm will succeed or fail usually focus on the personality and actions of the person at the top.

 

Read the full column in USA Today 

Paul Osterman is a professor at the MIT School of Management and co-author of Good Jobs America: Making Work Better For Everyone

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MBA Interest in Sustainability Careers is on the Rise at MIT Sloan

MIT Sloan Career Development Director Jackie Wilbur

Sustainability is a hot topic these days, especially on business school campuses. At MIT Sloan, we’re seeing a strong and increasing interest among our MBA students in this area.

A recent survey of our incoming first-year MBA students showed that 15% of the class is interested in the social enterprise sector, including sustainable business, nonprofits and education. That is even higher than the year before.

To support these students – whose numbers are growing — we have many initiatives and programs in place such as the Sloan Sustainability Initiative, which offers courses like the MIT Sloan Sustainable Business Lab (S-Lab) where student teams work with organizations on specific sustainability projects. Through the Sustainability initiative, MBA students also can earn the MIT Sloan Sustainability Certificate. Building on the Institute’s tradition of interdisciplinary studies, the certificate combines core and elective courses in areas such as process improvement, organizational learning and adaptation, entrepreneurship and commercialization, and the dynamics of organizational and social change.

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