Page 4 of 5 FirstFirst ... 2345 LastLast
Results 61 to 80 of 94

Thread: Twins and GroupThink vs Accountability

  1. #61
    Senior Member Triple-A
    Posts
    395
    Like
    0
    Liked 31 Times in 22 Posts
    Blog Entries
    3
    I don't really want to involve myself in this debate, largely because nobody is going to change their mind on what they believe about the Twins organization, anyway. There are however, a few things thrown out there, here and other threads that aren't really all that true, but seem to be accepted as fact.

    First, the Twins have made changes in their scouting over the last five years or so. They have a new scouting director, changes in assignments and I believe, new scouts. They have also made changes in how they evaluate, according to reports.

    2nd, in development, that is coaching and managing in the minors, they have made significant changes in this area over the last 5 years. In fact most of the minor league managers from 5 years ago are gone and so are many of the coaches. Some of these people are new to the organization, Glynn and Brunansky(who afterall had not been part of the Twins organization for over 20 years). There are few others who are new to the organization as well as a number of younger guys(former players) such as Jake Mauer and Watkins.

    Now, it is true that the top of the organization is pretty intrenched with people who have been with the organization a long time. But, there does seem to be some changing of the guard at other levels. Whether this is enough change for you, is a personal opinion. But to suggest there is no change and that no people from outside the organization are ever brought in, is a bit of an exageration.

  2. #62
    Senior Member MVP
    Posts
    5,146
    Like
    378
    Liked 339 Times in 225 Posts
    Blog Entries
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
    This is a solid point. When TR stepped down, the organization was so focused internally that it promoted one of "their guys" to a position he couldn't handle rather than taking a look outside to find someone more qualified. I suppose it's possible they could have done worse than Smith, but I doubt it. Who was in the room when that decision was made? And why was Smith the only one to take a fall?
    Excellent points. We really never know anything for certain about the decision-making process for these BIG DECISIONS. We can speculate that it's very likely that the man, Terry Ryan, who had essentially called all the shots for the last 13 years was working under the Halo Effect from his recent successes. He likely just threw Bill Smith's name out there and consensus was quickly built around the nominee. This was a classic case of central tendency, familiarity, and confirmation biases in favor of a clearly inferior hiring candidate, characteristic of a too-insular organization. Perhaps they thought that they needed a "marketing guy" more than a nut-and-bolts baseball guy with the pending advent of the new stadium. If that was the case, they should have spent the money on a consultant, and researched case evidence for the ramifications for a GM and successful mid-market teams in conjunction with the building of a new ballpark (Jacobs/ AT&T /Camden Yards) and then made a hire consistent with demonstrable managerial attributes that could bring about a reasonable long-term plan for success.

    We're still waiting for some semblance of a plan 7 years later.
    Last edited by jokin; 10-25-2013 at 10:11 PM.

  3. #63
    Senior Member MVP
    Posts
    5,146
    Like
    378
    Liked 339 Times in 225 Posts
    Blog Entries
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
    By all means, give me the shortcuts.
    Funny how the passive voice/aggressive voice roles in this organization operate. Jim Pohlad has publicly prnounced his embarrasment at what has taken place these last 3 years and that the route to his checkbook is shortcut-friendly, while Stay-The-Course Terry is seemingly strictly towing the 7 year long-cut route.

  4. #64
    Administrator Double-A Twins Daily Admin's Avatar
    Posts
    146
    Like
    0
    Liked 11 Times in 8 Posts
    Blog Entries
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
    I'd say that on a more basic level, the disadvantage is that quite often you don't end up with the best available person for the job. And that's a real problem.
    There's also a disadvantage to not looking within - your best people leave. Also, within the organization, people have less motivation to perform or go the extra mile.

  5. #65
    Senior Member MVP
    Posts
    5,146
    Like
    378
    Liked 339 Times in 225 Posts
    Blog Entries
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by admin View Post
    There's also a disadvantage to not looking within - your best people leave. Also, within the organization, people have less motivation to perform or go the extra mile.
    How many tears would have been shed if Bill Smith had been hired away from the Twins (assuming he was one of the motivated "best people" we're talking about here).

    It would make for an interesting research study to go back to 2007 and find out just which alternative, extra mile, candidates for the GM job could have been hired from within instead of Smith....and how many seasoned and/or up-and-comers were possibilities for the Twins GM job in other organizations.

  6. #66
    Senior Member All-Star
    Posts
    1,148
    Like
    62
    Liked 74 Times in 50 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    How many tears would have been shed if Bill Smith had been hired away from the Twins (assuming he was one of the motivated "best people" we're talking about here).

    It would make for an interesting research study to go back to 2007 and find out just which alternative, extra mile, candidates for the GM job could have been hired from within instead of Smith....and how many seasoned and/or up-and-comers were possibilities for the Twins GM job in other organizations.
    You seem to be taking both sides of the issue. This is your second post in this thread about groupthink where you imply that if Bill Smith had never been GM things would be much better. Yet other posts bash the "groupthink" and "closed system". So which is it? If its "groupthink" then Smith is only one of many voices and likely one that didn't have as much authority as his job title implied. Or, Smith somehow bullied the group into making bad personnel decisions/trades/drafts.

  7. #67
    Senior Member All-Star
    Posts
    3,168
    Like
    19
    Liked 197 Times in 125 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by admin View Post
    There's also a disadvantage to not looking within - your best people leave. Also, within the organization, people have less motivation to perform or go the extra mile.
    Do you really want employees who are only motivated to put forth a strong effort with the bribe of a promotion? Please, let those folks walk out the door.

    No one is saying you can't promote from within. I'm simply arguing that it shouldn't be done without first interviewing some outside candidates.

  8. #68
    Head Moderator All-Star glunn's Avatar
    Posts
    4,510
    Like
    2,347
    Liked 294 Times in 165 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1
    It seems to me that if I am running Coke and we are kicking Pepsi's ass, then I should be inclined to promote from within. But if Pepsi is kicking our ass, then we should hire some of their people to find out if they know things that we have not figured out.

  9. #69
    Senior Member MVP
    Posts
    5,146
    Like
    378
    Liked 339 Times in 225 Posts
    Blog Entries
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
    You seem to be taking both sides of the issue. This is your second post in this thread about groupthink where you imply that if Bill Smith had never been GM things would be much better.

    Yet other posts bash the "groupthink" and "closed system". So which is it? If its "groupthink" then Smith is only one of many voices and likely one that didn't have as much authority as his job title implied. Or, Smith somehow bullied the group into making bad personnel decisions/trades/drafts.
    No. I don't wish to imply that another GM other than Smith could have been better>>>I think it's demonstrable that Smith was a horrible GM and it's virtually certain that there were multitudes of candidates that would have been better had the organization felt comfortable enough to step outside of their self-imposed cocoon. The outside GM hiring alone could have brought in a new leadership direction with fresh approaches to a game in the midst of drastic change, particularly after PEDs were so dramatically extracted from influencing the game. The Twins chose their usual, risk-averse approach, Groupthink spawned Smith, he was a part of the "insiders club" philosophically, who, according to the poster I responded to, apparently qualified as the top candidate the organization had to offer, and who presumably would have had other clubs beating down the doors, were he not so valuable and loyal to the organization.

    So he ultimately was deemd "the best", the one who internal consensus annointed to assume Ryan's role- with the power and authority associated with Ryan's role, presumably with Ryan's blessing as his personal pick for the job, but unfortunately, with demonstrably woefully less capacity and capability to handle the inside-baseball aspects of Ryan's role- leading to disaster. That disaster came about when the decision-making processes of organizational rubber had to meet the resulting personnel decisions road of reality. The almost-overnight collapse of the organizational competitiveness and no obvious Plan Bs in place to make 2011 a one-year anomaly was the result.

    It was clearly a collaborative effort borne of stale groupthink and poor decision-making at the top, it's not an either/or outcome as you presumed- bad GM, stale culture- one the product of the other in a never-ending loop.
    Last edited by jokin; 10-26-2013 at 12:52 AM.

  10. #70
    Senior Member Triple-A
    Posts
    494
    Like
    3
    Liked 15 Times in 14 Posts
    There is a group think on this board. It has a set belief and nothing is going to change it.
    The Twins front office may have a lot of the same people in it but other than signing free agents can you really say there is a staid approach to baseball?
    Advanced statistics. Early in the 50's Branch Rickey devised a new formula. It was called OBP. Sometime in the 60's linear weighted batting average formula were started. There has always been a stats guy more interested in how to better to describe how much better his favorite player was than someone else's. Bill James invented Sabrmetics as a term. He did not invent deeper statistical analysis of baseball. There is that group think that does not realize this.

    In reality (Not used to inflame) it isn't that hard to emulate what another organization is doing. All you have to do is look for the traits that emerge on analysis of their drafts. Look at what was drafted before and the changing profile. There is a trend. Also note though that there trend might be adaptable to situation. For example in pitching if there were a minimal speed number for FB but a guy has an 88 with plus plus slider, as well as another plus plus pitch you still might take the guy.
    Last edited by The Wise One; 10-26-2013 at 06:30 AM.

  11. #71
    Super Moderator All-Star
    Posts
    3,419
    Like
    167
    Liked 309 Times in 184 Posts
    Blog Entries
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
    Do you really want employees who are only motivated to put forth a strong effort with the bribe of a promotion? Please, let those folks walk out the door.

    I'm not quite sure where to begin with this statement, and I'm guessing it came across to say more than you intended, but talented people typically do not like being stuck in some role. It won't take more than a handful of times of being passed up that will cause them to leave. That's simply a fact of life. Put yourself in their shoes (or extrapolate it to a personal situation if one exists), but talented people are going to want to be recognized for their hard work and when more challenging and better paying positions appear, they are going to want them. It has nothing to do with being bribed as you put it.

    I do agree more with your second point that there's no harm in looking externally (especially for higher level positions), but to deny someone who has shown the ability to do it is not a good way to run an organization.

  12. #72
    Super Moderator All-Star
    Posts
    3,419
    Like
    167
    Liked 309 Times in 184 Posts
    Blog Entries
    3
    I should note on Bill Smith that I suspect that with the Mauer thing coming and the whole TF thing opening that the org new they needed someone who was more likely to take those spending risks that Ryan wasn't going to take. That was likely the primary reason Smith was given the reigns. Situational awareness plays into big decisions like that. Unfortunately, I think that there were some consequences that were not clearly thought out.

  13. #73
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
    Posts
    1,909
    Like
    433
    Liked 358 Times in 203 Posts
    If you say that you will always give preference to present staff -- without opening up the positions to outsiders (even for consideration), you actually give a disincentive for performance. Then staff is not competing with the "outside world" but only within their cocoon.

    There have been changes in staffing but they haven't really opened up the organization to new ideas. Last year: coaching staff changes -- Brunansky "promoted" (no MLB or MiLB coaching experience outside Twins); Cuellar "promoted" (at least he had only been entrenched in the Twins way for about 5 years before the promotion); Steinbach (no MLB or MiLB coaching experience outside Twins). Joe Vavra did have significant experience in the Dodgers org before being hired as hitting coach in 2005 but Gardenhire, Ullger & Anderson have all been with the Twins for about 20 years (or more).

    Dave St. Peter (Team President) (with Twins since 1990)
    Terry Ryan (General Manager) (with Twins about 1986)
    Mike Radcliff (Vice President of Player Personnel) (with Twins since 1987)
    Rob Antony (Assistant GM) (with Twins since 1987) (interesting interview with Souhan in 2008: Jim Souhan: Antony is living life of his dreams | Star Tribune)
    Tom Kelly (Special Asst to GM) (with Twins since about 1971)
    Wayne Krivsky (Special Asst to GM) (back with Twins since 2011 but did spend times with a lot of organizations including the Twins)
    Mike Herman (Director, Team Travel) (with Twins since 1999)
    Jack Goin (Manager Major League Admin & Baseball Stats) (with Twins since 2000)
    Brad Steil (Director of Minor League Operations) (with Twins since about 2000)
    Joel Lepel (Minor League Field Coordinator) (with Twins since 1989)
    Kate Townley (Senior Manager, Minor League Administration) (with Twins since 2005)
    Lizz Downey (Admin. Asst. to Terry Ryan) (hired in January 2013)
    Deron Johnson (Director of Scouting) (with Twins since 1994)
    Vern Followell (Pro Scouting Coordinator) (with Twins since 1989)
    Amanda Daley (Senior Manager, Scouting & International Administration) (??????)
    Rafael Yanez (Administrative Assistant to Scouting) (also serves as a translator) (????)
    Dave Preumer (Head Trainer) (with Twins since 1994)
    Tony Leo (Asst Trainer) (with Twins since 1997)
    Lanning Tucker (Asst Trainer) (with Twins since 1992)


    I'm not going to go through all the positions in PR, Finance, etc. but I'm guessing you will see a very similar pattern. Unfortunately I don't know where to find a list of scouts.

    The few "new hires" we see are almost all very young and in their first jobs. There is a tendency to hire as interns and then eventually promote into top management. While that is not entirely bad, it means that they SELDOM bring in outside experience from the baseball world (Krivsky, Vavra & Cuellar seemingly being the only exceptions).

    Most of the top personnel go back to the same time frame as Terry Ryan -- late 80's.

    It is no wonder to me that there is "group think" and I think that the hire dates don't lie. Fresh talent, ideas and innovation are desperately needed.

    Edit: Just realized I forgot Molitor. He definitely has experience outside Twins but he is also indoctrinated in the "Twins way".
    Last edited by JB_Iowa; 10-26-2013 at 09:52 AM. Reason: added Molitor

  14. #74
    Senior Member All-Star
    Posts
    3,168
    Like
    19
    Liked 197 Times in 125 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
    I'm not quite sure where to begin with this statement, and I'm guessing it came across to say more than you intended, but talented people typically do not like being stuck in some role. It won't take more than a handful of times of being passed up that will cause them to leave. That's simply a fact of life. Put yourself in their shoes (or extrapolate it to a personal situation if one exists), but talented people are going to want to be recognized for their hard work and when more challenging and better paying positions appear, they are going to want them. It has nothing to do with being bribed as you put it.

    I do agree more with your second point that there's no harm in looking externally (especially for higher level positions), but to deny someone who has shown the ability to do it is not a good way to run an organization.
    I'm not aiming to deny anyone in house from a deserved promotion, but I am of the mind that the job still needs to go to the most capable person. This isn't a mom and pop business no matter how the Twins like to try to sell this club to the public. I don't want to promote a less talented person simply because I don't want them leaving the company. There's a decent chance the best candidate may not be with the company. If Bill Smith is the top candidate, great, but how would we know if the Twins won't open the position to all comers?
    Last edited by nicksaviking; 10-26-2013 at 11:11 AM.

  15. #75
    Senior Member Triple-A
    Posts
    494
    Like
    3
    Liked 15 Times in 14 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
    I'm not aiming to deny anyone in house from a deserved promotion, but I am of the mind that the job still needs to go to the most capable person. This isn't a mom and pop business no matter how the Twins like to try to sell this club to the public. I don't want to promote a less talented person simply because I don't want them leaving the company. There's a decent chance the best candidate may not be with the company. If Bill Smith is the top candidate, great, but how would we know if the Twins won't open the position to all comers?
    Have you ever been promoted within your company? It is not meant as a shot but to make you consider this. There are very few proven commodities. You on the outside may think that the 4th in command at XYZ team may be more qualified than the internal candidate. When that person turns out to be no more qualified than the person that was within the company, then you go backwards. It destroys morale. The outside has to be superior to what is within. In terms of GM the owner could have been very discreet. You can have an opinion one way or the other as to what happens, but you don't know. Baseball tends to be tight lipped on how they operate.

  16. #76
    Senior Member Triple-A
    Posts
    494
    Like
    3
    Liked 15 Times in 14 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
    If you say that you will always give preference to present staff -- without opening up the positions to outsiders (even for consideration), you actually give a disincentive for performance. Then staff is not competing with the "outside world" but only within their cocoon.

    There have been changes in staffing but they haven't really opened up the organization to new ideas. Last year: coaching staff changes -- Brunansky "promoted" (no MLB or MiLB coaching experience outside Twins); Cuellar "promoted" (at least he had only been entrenched in the Twins way for about 5 years before the promotion); Steinbach (no MLB or MiLB coaching experience outside Twins). Joe Vavra did have significant experience in the Dodgers org before being hired as hitting coach in 2005 but Gardenhire, Ullger & Anderson have all been with the Twins for about 20 years (or more).

    Dave St. Peter (Team President) (with Twins since 1990)
    Terry Ryan (General Manager) (with Twins about 1986)
    Mike Radcliff (Vice President of Player Personnel) (with Twins since 1987)
    Rob Antony (Assistant GM) (with Twins since 1987) (interesting interview with Souhan in 2008: Jim Souhan: Antony is living life of his dreams | Star Tribune)
    Tom Kelly (Special Asst to GM) (with Twins since about 1971)
    Wayne Krivsky (Special Asst to GM) (back with Twins since 2011 but did spend times with a lot of organizations including the Twins)
    Mike Herman (Director, Team Travel) (with Twins since 1999)
    Jack Goin (Manager Major League Admin & Baseball Stats) (with Twins since 2000)
    Brad Steil (Director of Minor League Operations) (with Twins since about 2000)
    Joel Lepel (Minor League Field Coordinator) (with Twins since 1989)
    Kate Townley (Senior Manager, Minor League Administration) (with Twins since 2005)
    Lizz Downey (Admin. Asst. to Terry Ryan) (hired in January 2013)
    Deron Johnson (Director of Scouting) (with Twins since 1994)
    Vern Followell (Pro Scouting Coordinator) (with Twins since 1989)
    Amanda Daley (Senior Manager, Scouting & International Administration) (??????)
    Rafael Yanez (Administrative Assistant to Scouting) (also serves as a translator) (????)
    Dave Preumer (Head Trainer) (with Twins since 1994)
    Tony Leo (Asst Trainer) (with Twins since 1997)
    Lanning Tucker (Asst Trainer) (with Twins since 1992)


    I'm not going to go through all the positions in PR, Finance, etc. but I'm guessing you will see a very similar pattern. Unfortunately I don't know where to find a list of scouts.

    The few "new hires" we see are almost all very young and in their first jobs. There is a tendency to hire as interns and then eventually promote into top management. While that is not entirely bad, it means that they SELDOM bring in outside experience from the baseball world (Krivsky, Vavra & Cuellar seemingly being the only exceptions).

    Most of the top personnel go back to the same time frame as Terry Ryan -- late 80's.

    It is no wonder to me that there is "group think" and I think that the hire dates don't lie. Fresh talent, ideas and innovation are desperately needed.

    Edit: Just realized I forgot Molitor. He definitely has experience outside Twins but he is also indoctrinated in the "Twins way".
    So what to your list. How is it any different from any other baseball team with some success? The team in place has netted the Pohlads a few hundred million in increaced valuation of the team. In the last 4 years even a profit. From a business sense the Twins management has delivered to the Pohlads what they wanted. The individuals within the system worked hard and have received promotions. It was very bad of them to work hard and generally stay within the organization to get promoted. I wish you had a list of the scouts, as well as ball boys, janitors and anyone else as to how long they have worked for the team.
    You can have an opinion that there is an indoctrination to the Twins way. If there is really such a thing and it bothers you so much you are going to remain in misery as long as the Pohlads own the team.
    Last edited by The Wise One; 10-26-2013 at 12:41 PM.

  17. #77
    Senior Member All-Star
    Posts
    3,168
    Like
    19
    Liked 197 Times in 125 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by The Wise One View Post
    Have you ever been promoted within your company? It is not meant as a shot but to make you consider this. There are very few proven commodities. You on the outside may think that the 4th in command at XYZ team may be more qualified than the internal candidate. When that person turns out to be no more qualified than the person that was within the company, then you go backwards. It destroys morale. The outside has to be superior to what is within. In terms of GM the owner could have been very discreet. You can have an opinion one way or the other as to what happens, but you don't know. Baseball tends to be tight lipped on how they operate.
    You don't go backwards and morale is not destroyed. How many employees at 3M do you really think are affected or even care if they hire a new CFO away from Cargill? My company is large, just as the Minnesota Twins are large, most employees are not affected by high level position changes, it's just business as usual with a different guy calling the shots.

    I've received multiple promotions at my job and we have hired on people from outside almost as often, even in very high levels of the business. Especially in high levels of the business. I'm not sure what your comment about being discreet is in reference to. I get the impression that you are trying to imply the Twins DID interview outside candidates but kept it quite. I find that extremely unlikely. Outside candidates will want their name out there so other clubs know they are a viable option for future considerations. This also contradicts Ryan's own stated philosophy about hiring.

  18. #78
    Senior Member Triple-A
    Posts
    300
    Like
    0
    Liked 29 Times in 15 Posts
    I'm not familiar with any other firm that operates like the Twins. I have seen it in academia, non-profits, government, etc.: entities not engaged in profit-seeking or not acting in a fully competitive environment. For a competitive business, the Twins' insular and backwards nature is very, very uncommon, because even if a firm did behave that way it would usually fail.

    The Twins' business is fine because they are part of a joint venture with the other clubs that ensures substantial revenues. But their obvious and inarguable management failings certainly are manifest in terms of on-the-field results. The Twins openly and proudly emphasize the fact that they value things like loyalty and familiarity over talent and innovation. This is universally considered a recipe for failure, and the only real surprise is that the Twins haven't failed even more.

  19. #79
    Senior Member Triple-A
    Posts
    494
    Like
    3
    Liked 15 Times in 14 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
    You don't go backwards and morale is not destroyed. How many employees at 3M do you really think are affected or even care if they hire a new CFO away from Cargill? My company is large, just as the Minnesota Twins are large, most employees are not affected by high level position changes, it's just business as usual with a different guy calling the shots.

    I've received multiple promotions at my job and we have hired on people from outside almost as often, even in very high levels of the business. Especially in high levels of the business. I'm not sure what your comment about being discreet is in reference to. I get the impression that you are trying to imply the Twins DID interview outside candidates but kept it quite. I find that extremely unlikely. Outside candidates will want their name out there so other clubs know they are a viable option for future considerations. This also contradicts Ryan's own stated philosophy about hiring.
    You rarely see someone move laterally from organization to organization. That makes baseball different from business. When someone is brought from the outside it is a promotion based on hoped for expectations or said person is acailable for that job because they have been fired elsewhere(deemed not good enough). Apply this to you. Rather than you being promoted, they brought someone else in who held a position similar to yours. You would be real happy about that? Why weren't you promoted? Oh, the other person came from an organization that was deemed more successful. What did management just tell you about the work that you and your department have done. Management has determined your level of the Peter Principal. If you think they are wrong, you shouldn't be happy.
    Brian Auld may field a few inquiries about a GM position. If he politely declines to discuss it, the other organization isn't going to bring it up either. Discretion.

  20. #80
    Senior Member Triple-A
    Posts
    494
    Like
    3
    Liked 15 Times in 14 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by drivlikejehu View Post
    I'm not familiar with any other firm that operates like the Twins. I have seen it in academia, non-profits, government, etc.: entities not engaged in profit-seeking or not acting in a fully competitive environment. For a competitive business, the Twins' insular and backwards nature is very, very uncommon, because even if a firm did behave that way it would usually fail.

    The Twins' business is fine because they are part of a joint venture with the other clubs that ensures substantial revenues. But their obvious and inarguable management failings certainly are manifest in terms of on-the-field results. The Twins openly and proudly emphasize the fact that they value things like loyalty and familiarity over talent and innovation. This is universally considered a recipe for failure, and the only real surprise is that the Twins haven't failed even more.
    The Twins do not operate in a competitive environment. The bulk of their money is made through a cooperative effort with the other teams.
    What innovation are the Twins lacking in your opinion?

Page 4 of 5 FirstFirst ... 2345 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.