The Next Level of Intelligence for 21st Century Leaders

buzz from Susan Lichtenstein, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Chief Legal Officer Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc.

"Arin Reeves's new book is not just interesting reading, it's essential reading for any leader coping with the information revolution and the rapid pace of 21st century change. Reeves's observations about our interactions -- not just in the workplace, but in society -- are perceptive, enlightening, entertaining, and undeniable. "The Next IQ" is that rare book that combines revelation with practical advice. After reading this book, you will not approach your colleagues or your decisions in the same way."

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Moneyball & The Next IQ

The Next IQ is not about about how you see something you haven’t seen before.  It’s about seeing what you’ve already seen through such a different perspective that it propels your intelligence forward in ways you cannot imagine.  The movie, Moneyball, is about that process of seeing something you’ve already seen in such a different way that it not only delivers but actually redefines success. 

Moneyball is one of those rare movies that is about baseball but has nothing to do with baseball.  It has to do with thinking differently, challenging the status quo, and understanding that the collective sum of the parts always (seriously, always!) equal more than the simple addition of the parts, even if some of the parts are amazing.

Read the book by Michael Lewis.  Watch the movie if you prefer.  The story embodies the lessons in The Next IQ, lessons that can teach all of us to think smarter and lead better!

Billy Beane, the frustrated and forward-thinking General Manager of the Oakland A’s, struggles to explain to his fellow team managers why a team of good athletes can outperform a team with a few superstars (collective talent vs. individual talent).  As he fights to redefine the problem, he finds the “thinking differently” partner he needs in economics genius/baseball fanatic, Peter Brand (who was struggling to be heard with the Cleveland Indians when Beane hired him to work for the A’s.).

The story takes us through the struggle it takes to think differently from the status quo and how you have to keep thinking differently through the initial difficulties of going against the crowd until the results – the improbable and only 20 game winning streak in the American League – reveal the brilliance of the next level of intelligence in baseball.  As you read my two favorite snippets of dialogue from the movie, think about problems that you may be trying to solve in your own life than can be solved better if you redefined the problem and thought differently about the possibilities for solutions!

First, redefine the problem…

Grady Fuson: We’re trying to solve a problem here.
Billy Beane: Not like this you’re not. You’re not even looking at the problem.
Grady Fuson: We’re very aware of the problem.
Billy Beane: Okay, good. What’s the problem?
Grady Fuson:  Okay, Billy. We all understand what the problem is. We have to replace…
Billy Beane: Good. What’s the problem?
Grady Fuson: The problem is we have to replace three key players.
Billy Beane: No. What’s the problem?
John Poloni: Same as it’s ever been. We’ve gotta replace these guys with what we have existing.
Billy Beane: No! What’s the problem, Barry?
Scout Barry: We need 38 home runs, 120 RBIs and 47…
Billy Beane: Aaahhh! The problem we’re trying to solve is that there are rich teams and there are poor teams, then there’s fifty feet of crap, and then there’s us. It’s an unfair game. And now we’re being gutted, organ donors for the rich. Boston has taken our kidney’s, Yankees takin’ our heart and you guys are sittin’ around talkin’ the same old good body nonsense, like we’re selling deeds. Like we’re looking for Fabio. We got to think differently.

Then, think differently to solve the problem…

Billy Beane: What’s this?
Peter Brand: This is a code that I’ve written to run your projections. This is building in all the intelligence that we have to project players.
Billy Beane: Okay.
Peter Brand: It’s about getting things down to one number. Using stats to reread them, we’ll find the value of players that nobody else can see. People are over looked for a variety of biased reasons and perceived flaws. Age, appearance, personality. Bill James and Mathematics cuts straight through that. Billy, of the twenty thousand knowable players for us to consider, I believe that there’s a championship team of twenty five people that we can afford. Because everyone else in baseball undervalues them.

-By Arin N. Reeves

arin@thenextiq.com