Culture Wins – What the Baltimore Orioles are Teaching Us

Why do the Os have the most wins in the American League and what can we learn from them? Is it about money? Heck no. They’re the third lowest team payroll in all of baseball. The Mets have the highest payroll and were all but out of the playoffs on August 1. The Orioles are the winningest team because general manager Michael Elias and field manager Brandon Hyde rebuilt the team to a standard of right people, right seats. Right people, right seats, ya gotta have both. But which is more important?

Right seat is someone that gets and wants and has the capacity to do their job well. Statistically, on the field, the Os are dramatically better than in recent years, yet they’re still only seventh out of fifteen American League teams in combined pitching and hitting. On the other hand, right people are people that live the company core values. When your core values align, you become a team of equals that always fight for the greater good. The Os have a clubhouse that players love being a part of. Individual egos are low. Pulling for each other and helping each other is high.

So, what are the Os teaching us? Culture wins. It wins in every business, including baseball. You need good players in the right seats, but more importantly, as company culture guru Patrick Lencioni says in his best seller The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, “If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.”
Is your culture a trusting, caring, team-first clubhouse and are your individual employees superstars on the field every day?

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