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Where is Billy Beane?

Like many, I found myself watching Moneyball and immediately drawing connections to education. However, I didn’t draw the connections to data-driven decisions and education. I connected with Billy Beane.

I connected with the idea of challenging a deeply engrained culture that those within it refused to change. I connected with how much real leaders and these ideas are needed in education.

  1. Adapt or Die Push
  2. Address the real problem
  3. Ask the right questions
  4. Think differently
  5. Take Risks
  6. Challenge the Status Quo and Complacent Mindsets
  7. Reinvent and Rethink

Where is Billy Beane in our schools: the type of leader that will stop the cycle of non-movement disguised as change, the type of leader that recognizes that education “thinking is medieval”, and the type of leader that openly says,”Guys, you’re just talking. Talking, “la-la-la-la”, like this is business as usual. It’s not.”

  1. Pete Rodrigues01-19-2012

    Ryan,

    This is somewhat tangential , but what’s your take on a leader coming in and doing this from day 1? Or do you think one has to test the landscape so to speak? Billy was fairly well established within the organization when he realized he had to approach the game differently; but he didn’t appear to be leading with this mindset prior to the change in his baseball philosophy.

    • Ryan Bretag03-27-2012

      Hi Pete:

      I entirely missed your comment until this morning. Great question!

      I think someone that enters and does this from day one would be looked at as changing without the type of thoughtfulness needed to sustain it. That said, what is the time frame needed? In the case of Oakland, they had just made the playoffs so this made it even more challenging. Why change our mindsets when they are working. If things are a disaster and people realize it, perhaps faster.

      I think it comes down to being thoughtful and contextualizing locally ideas.

      What do you think?

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