What does the energy industry have to learn from rookie baseball managers?

May 11

What does the energy industry have to learn from rookie baseball managers?

The energy industry may have something to learn from this season’s crop of rookie baseball managers. The New York Times published an article in the Sunday magazine on April 25, 2018 titled The Mets Try the Personal Touch. The article explains that it is impossible to be only a number-crunching baseball manager now. Today’s manager must combine excellent analytics with a strong interest and passion for understanding and leading people. There were many marvelous nuggets in this story, inspired in part by the great start to the Mets season. (As a lifelong Mets fan, I take my good news wherever and whenever I can.) Let’s not dwell on the last few weeks, shall we?

One of the significant points of this story reminded us of the opportunity that energy analytics brings to energy experts. The journalist interviewed the new guard of baseball managers. They discussed the importance of integrating data and analytics into managing a baseball team. It no longer works to just manage by experience or gut instinct.

Baseball managers rely on analytics… why shouldn’t you?

Here’s a quote from the Yankees’ Brian Cashman:

“The past few years, you’ve seen managers weeded out of this game,” Brian Cashman, who runs the Yankees, told me recently. “They weren’t willing to embrace the information that was providing better decision-making. Those guys died off like dinosaurs. The days of ownership, general managers and front-office personnel turning over their entire operation to a manager to run a 25-man roster for six months? Those days are over.”

The advantage no longer goes to the manager with 30 to 40 years experience. Now, baseball managers need to make the most of information and analytics. They must also excel at the leadership skills required to manage winning teams.

What does the energy industry have to do with energy management?

For decades, experienced facilities professionals ran energy operations in the commercial and industrial sector with no access to data or analytics. Like Earl Weaver or Pete Rose from baseball’s history, these professionals benefited from decades of time spent in a building’s dugout, running a building from the inside. There were no sophisticated analytics available, so experience was certainly the best guide.

Bottom line for energy and finance managers: Times have changed and, like in baseball, experience is not enough when running complex facilities. The best energy managers integrate experience with reliable energy data and analytics. With data, you can ensure the front-office is satisfied that their facilities and their players are performing to the best of their ability. To learn more about the value of analytics to the C-suite, see this article. 

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