Performance Assessment

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What Businesses Can Learn From Sports Analytics

In professional sports, some teams are becoming sophisticated in using data to measure team and player performance, sports business and health and injury prevention. Sports teams’ use of analytics has much to teach other managers about alignment, performance improvement and business ecosystems. For instance, teams are beginning to assess performance in context, seeing how teams do with or without a particular player. This “plus/minus” analysis could be a valuable technique for many businesses as well.

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In Sports, It’s Quants Versus Managers

There have been a number of stunning sports upsets that make it clear that the lines are fading between intuition and experience on the one hand, and data and analytics on the other. Where the “gut” instinct of managers and owners once ruled, analytic insights are fast becoming a standard part of the playbook. What’s at stake? Seemingly everything: trophies, revenues, funding and fans, not to mention the sheer thrill of victory. That’s particularly the case in elite professional sports.

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Analyzing Performance in Service Organizations

We can’t always trust our intuition about how employees will perform. Intuition can be misleading, or just plain wrong. So a growing number of savvy service businesses have investigated the use of a sophisticated linear programming technique called DEA, or data envelopment analysis. Authors H. David Sherman and Joe Zhu, who call DEA “balanced benchmarking,” write that the technique helps companies locate best practices not visible through other management methodologies.

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The Dangers of Untested Assumptions

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Why do established corporations' new ventures often fail? The new issue of Business Insight, MIT Sloan Management Review's collaboration with The Wall Street Journal, includes an interview with Rita Gunther McGrath about problems traditional business planning processes encounter when dealing with uncertain new ventures.

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The controversial performance review

  • Blog

  Are performance reviews passé? At the very least, they are a hot discussion topic  --  judging from reactions to the lead story in this week's edition of Business Insight, which we at SMR produce in collaboration with The Wall Street Journal.

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Developing Versatile Leadership

Leadership consists of opposing strengths, and most leaders have a natural tendency to overdevelop one at the expense of its counterpart. The resulting imbalance diminishes their effectiveness. But leaders who work to guard against such lopsidedness can increase their versatility and their impact.

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