Bad, BAD lessons from the NFL Draft

Leaders in business seem to follow a lot of lessons from the NFL.  Some are good, of course.  But some are bad, bad lessons.  The 2011 NFL Draft, which commenced last night (Thursday) with the first round of selections, provides a perfect example.  While there weren’t a whole lot of huge surprises, there were indeed a few.  (Hint, the #8 pick) That is always the case.  Some players drop further than projected, while others get selected sooner than even they may have expected.  Some teams address the exact positions they need, while others operate under the philosophy to take the best player available, regardless of position.  I mean, what do we expect?  It’s human beings evaluating human beings.  What could go wrong?

Tom Brady was the 199th player taken because he didn't pass the eyeball test..

The NFL and those who make their name and reputation, not to mention a lot of money, from the draft like to pretend it’s a science, this evaluation of players.  Like business and financial analysts, they have all the data they could possibly need- some (like me) would argue too much.  They measure these players, weigh them, and watch hours and hours of game film.  They check their body weight and test their physical strength.  They have doctors evaluate the severity of any past injuries and look for the potential of future ones.  They even claim to effectively test the cognitive abilities of prospects with a test known as the Wonderlic. (Click Here to see how you measure up) Read more of this post

Timeliness versus Precision

Is Speed better than Accuracy?It’s a good thing that crow tastes a lot like chicken- and that I like chicken- because I’ve been eating a lot of it lately.  The latest portion has been served up by way of a discussion or several I’ve had with the leader of one of the companies with which I work.  The long and short of the debate comes down to the importance of timeliness versus the need for accuracy and precision.

You guys know me by now.  I’m a perfectionist.  I like things right.  I insist on putting my best foot forward.  My tagline, after all, is “Addicted to Improvement.”  It is my belief that what people produce and put out for the world to see and consume– whether in words spoken, in writings and reports created, or in physical appearance –is reflective of their personal brand.  So you should always make sure what you do is the absolute best.  Right?  Well, actually I’m wrong.  Sort of. Read more of this post

Rock Stars and Turn-Dials

Make sure to get Rocks Stars to control your Big Dials!

Troy Aikman, the Hall of Fame quarterback that led the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl victories in four years—the first team to do that—started his college career at Oklahoma. Heralded as a high school athlete, he certainly did not disappoint. In his first season as a collegiate starter, Aikman led the Sooners to a 3-0 record, beating Minnesota and Kansas State before knocking off the rival Longhorns of the University of Texas, ranked number 17 in the country at the time. Unfortunately, his season was cut short by Oklahoma’s next opponent, the University of Miami, when the Hurricanes’ Jerome Brown sacked Aikman, breaking his ankle. A long story shortened is that Jamelle Holieway, a freshman, replaced Aikman. And after finishing the season with a National Championship; the school’s sixth, but first in a decade; Holieway became part of Oklahoma lore, to this day considered one of the all-time greats. Oh, and he just happened to be a totally different style of quarterback than Aikman, forcing then head coach Barry Switzer (who ironically would later coach Aikman to a Super Bowl Championship with the Cowboys) to completely change the offense from a traditional one in which the quarterback dropped back and threw downfield to “The Wishbone”, where the quarterback was the focal point of the running game.

You’re probably saying about right now, “Again, Bobby? What are you talking about?” Well, here’s the punchline: Read more of this post

Trend and Growth Functions

Data can be analyzed in a lot of different ways.  Excel has dozens of tools and functions that make high-level statistical analysis not only possible, but in many cases fairly easy to use.

Researchers of all types (medicine, anthropology, sociology, entomology are a few of several fields) use statistics extensively.  Larger corporate companies also spend resources on analyzing, reporting, and making business decisions based on statistical analysis.

Read more of this post