Friday, July 30, 2010

Fw: Ron Morris' Weekly Article

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From: "The American Entrepreneur" <>
Sender: "The American Entrepreneur" <>
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2010 08:00:30
To: Mark<>
Reply-To: "The American Entrepreneur" <>
Subject: Ron Morris' Weekly Article

July 30, 2010 Issue 478

"How Do I Measure Thee? ... Let Me Count The Ways"

The other day, I was listening to the General Manager of the Pittsburgh
Pirates' baseball team. He was describing the club's philosophy as it
related to player development.

This guy was mostly talking about his Minor League organization, not the
"Big Club" that resides right here in Pittsburgh. "We really don't care much
about winning," he said, "We really only care about seeing improvements at
all levels of our Minor League operations."

Up until I heard that, I was only casually listening. But when I heard the
phrase, "We don't care about winning," my head immediately jerked in the
direction of the radio. Could he really have said what I just heard?

This GM went on to explain, "the organization's philosophy was essentially
to use hard, and measurable criteria to produce an individual pre- and
post-assessment of each player, at each Minor League level. (Note: For those
not familiar, professional baseball, unlike any other professional sport,
has what is known as a "Farm System." The "levels" in these Farm Systems
become increasingly more difficult as you move up from "Class A," to "Class
AA," and then ultimately up to "Class AAA.")

"Measurement of hard criteria so that pre- and post-assessments can be
performed," I mumbled to myself. "Not a thing in there about winning," I
mumbled on.

So, when my wife asked what I was mumbling about, I yelled out, "Honey, I
just figured out why the Pirates stink. Apparently, they're measuring
everything but the one and only thing that really pays off --- winning."

I'm a teacher. And, as a teacher, I am obligated to regularly report both
progress and lack thereof to parents and students alike.

Over the years, I have probably ruminated over this ... the "grading
question" ... more than any other topic. I have asked myself, "So, do I
measure them on absolute knowledge? Or, do I measure them based on what they
knew the first night of class, and then compare that knowledge to what they
know on the last night of class?"

Furthermore, do I measure them on overall classroom contributions, i.e.,
"thinking on their feet," (the one talent that they_will_ need when they
become business people/entrepreneurs); or, do I measure them on their
answers to written tests? (I've been in business almost 40 years ... not
once has a customer, supplier, or employee asked me to "take a written test"
prior to: a.) buying something from me, b.) selling something to me, or,
c.) coming to work for me!)

The problem I have is that, and no matter how you cut it, you can only
measure hard, quantifiable knowledge. Everything else is just a guess.

But "everything else" is what is important! In the real world, we "pay off"
on the winning and losing that only comes as a result of the character
make-up of the individual, and not necessarily his or her talent.

So, the problem, Dear Brutus, lies not in knowledge or speed or talent.
Instead, it lies in attitude and tenacity and will. All of which are

And here's the major disconnect:

In academia, we pay off on activity --- while in the real world, we pay off
on results.

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Today On The American Entrepreneur

"The American Entrepreneur" Ron Morris gets the lowdown on the latest
happenings in Pennsylvania's State Legislature, as he talks with
Pennsylvania State Representative Mike Turzai. With a new Governor taking
office come November, whoever he may be, what changes does Mike see in store
for the Keystone State? Plus, Ron talks with two of his colleagues at the
Palumbo-Donahue School of Business at Duquesne University, Valerie
Trott-Williams and Bob Kollar, about the idea of fraud in business, and the
steps that he is taking to help smarten business owners up to this growing
concern. And John Lee of International Investigative Services talks to Ron
about the growing epidemic of copper theft in the world of business.


Saturday On The American Entrepreneur

One of the most renowned business and management gurus in the world returns
to TAE. Henry Mintzberg, Professor of Management Studies at McGill
University in Montreal, joins Ron to discuss the most effective management
strategies for your company, as well as his groundbreaking Theory on
Organizational Forms. Plus, Ron reconnects with John Vechey, the founder of
Popcap Games and creator of "Bejeweled", the gold standard of online gaming
platforms. John tells his remarkable story, and how his creation grew to
become enjoyed by over 25 million users worldwide. And Phil Sabo of Wilke
and Associates CPA talks with Ron about the common problems relating to six
month reviews for the period ending on June 30.


There is going to be a lot of Open Talk going on this weekend so be sure
to join in by using TalkShoe at or by calling the show live at 333-1360.

As always, your dreams are 100% in your hands.


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