Be ASTRO-nomical!

Be ASTRO-nomical!

Congratulations to the Houston Astros – Major League Baseball’s World Series Champs! An amazing accomplishment considering that, just four seasons ago, the team lost 111 games. How did they do it? As you read stories of their turnaround, you can see a focus on what we at Team Synergy refer to as the 3 T’s: Talent, Technology, and Teamwork. When you help your team in these 3 areas, you can achieve Astro-nomical things, too!

The Astros’ owner and general manager worked hard to find and develop the first T: Talent. This year it paid off. The team had five athletes make the roster for MLB’s All-Star Game, three of them as starters. The 2017 Astros ranked first or second in 10 of the top 11 MLB batting categories. The pitching staff was second in strikeouts and third in wins. The Astros developed the talent they had but weren’t afraid to go and get the needed talent during the season. Talent was an important component of the Astros success; however, talent on its own doesn’t ensure success.

Increasingly, baseball teams have come to rely on the second T: Technology. According to Bob Nightengale’s article “Data-driven Clubs Value Chemistry” (USA Today, October 24, 2017), the Astros rely heavily on analytics. They call their front office “The Nerd Cave” and even have an ex-NASA engineer in a director position. The technology they utilize tells them all kinds of things, such as what pitch to throw a batter, where to position the fielders, and how weather affects baseball situations. One of the World Series’ television broadcasters credited part of Justin Verlander’s success to the use of technology. After acquiring him from the Tigers, the Astros used high-speed camera footage to help him improve his slider. Technology has indeed become an integral part of the game, but again, it’s not a stand-alone.

That brings us to the final T: Teamwork. Nightengale argues that even with all the analytics and talent, the Astros wouldn’t be a success without their positive team dynamics. He quotes Astros pitcher Rich Hill who said, “’there is no quantifying how important it is to have the right guys in the clubhouse.’” Manager A.J. Hinch said, “it’s the players’ job to develop chemistry, and when you have it, you want to hold on to it as much as possible.’” The article mentions that teamwork is so valuable, professional teams even choose players with less talent because they are good team players and will improve dynamics.

What about your team? If you’re the “General Manager” take time to evaluate which T in your team needs a boost. Do you need to build the talent of your team through training or hiring? Is there a use of technology or analytics that can assist your team? Does your teamwork need attention? Just like the Astros had a game plan to take them to the top, set your goal and make it happen. With the three T’s you, too, can hit it out of the park!

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