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The Carnival of HR - Coming to a MLB Front Office Near You....

..."I walk into the clubhouse and it's like walking into the Mayo Clinic.  We have four doctors, three therapists and five trainers.  Back when I broke in, we had one trainer who carried a bottle of rubbing alcohol and by the seventh inning he had drunk it all"...

--Tommy Lasorda, former manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers (quote from 1989)

It's October, and that can mean only one thing - the World Series is right around the corner.  Most of theMajor_league  high payroll teams are gone (bye Yankees, Angels, Phillies and Cubs!), and the last big dollar franchise is on the ropes (Red Sox).   The probable teams for the series at this point?  The Rockies and the Indians, with total payrolls of $54M and $61M respectively.  That's 1/3 of the money clip required to field the Yankees and Red Sox...

So I'll start this edition of The Carnival of HR by observing that money doesn't buy you championship rings.  Having a strategy to build teams and develop talent does.  But you still have to have smart people to help you figure out how to build that team.    What Lasorda observed in 1989 pales in comparison to the size of a Major League Baseball front office of 2007.  Specialists abound, hatching plots and strategies in every niche, from how to determine the overall value of individual players to how to minimize the likelihood of players saying something stupid in front of the media.

How's the Carnival of HR fit in?   The participants in the carnival have transferable skills.  They could easily plug into the front office of a Major League Baseball franchise.  Here's how:

The Lawyers - When you're dealing with issues like steroids, a strong union, and the liability presented by a wild card like Big Poppi blogging, you need some legal muscle: 

-The Connecticut Employee Law Blog reminds us that there is risk in allowing players/employees to blog.  Always good to have a strategy before it gets out of hand...

-The Ohio Employer's Law Blog encourages all organizations to document all performance issues.  After the Michael Vick voided contract, the sports world could learn something from his counsel...

-Michael Moore at The PA Employment Law Blog explores the prospect of boomers retiring and the cost burden for their healthcare being shifted back to employers.  Yuck!  Have to ensure Medicare picks up the tab for retired players, lest their medical bills eat into the profits of the franchise...

The Capologists - Capologists figure out the best way to structure the payroll of the franchise.  How much money do we have?  What's the best way to spend it?  Who's worth a new contract and who's not?  Here's the team:

-Ann Bares at Compensation Force riffs on the need to be flexible with your salary ranges based on your talent strategy.  Whether you are building through the minor leagues or acquiring free agents, Ann has a range strategy...

-Evil HR Lady acknowledges that all talent is not equal.  Sometimes turnover is good, sometimes it's bad.  Sometimes you have to let that average performer walk out the door rather than spending the money to retain.  Free agent nation, baby!!!

The Trainer - Need an ultrasound or an ankle taped?  We've got the team.  See the following staff member for assistance:

-Michael Wolfe at The Career Revolution runs a tight ship with one exception.  He can't guarantee all the folks hanging around the training room at the stadium won't know the details of your condition.  After all, it's hard to protect PHI when you can see a member of his team taping somebody's wrist.  Next thing you know, it's in the papers via some beat reporter on a deadline.

The Therapist - How are you doing?  Lisa at HR Thoughts has the right perspective, meaning she could easily make the transition to figuring out why Rick Ankiel can't pitch anymore.

The Minor League Director - Somebody's got to be the advocate for the new employees in the minors, and in this franchise that person is Ask A Manager.  Her secret to making sure the newbies are comfortable?  She conducts entry interviews to make sure the new recruits aren't shell shocked and subsequent retention risks.

Promotions - We like the stadium to be a happy place, and on this team the person who handles that is Stephanie West Allen of IdealawgKeeping the stadium "light" through promotions is a good idea, especially when the team stinks.  Just avoid "free-bat" night during a losing streak...

Media Relations - Nobody wants to see a messy locker (jock strap hanging behind a player being interviewed, anyone?) or a monotone interview, so our franchise has the following team:

-Jayna Wiesemann helps players balance the need for personal expression versus neatness in a clip on organization skills...

-The Career Encouragement Blog helps those being interviewed to develop better relationships with the media through a novel concept - actually being FUN to interview.   

General Manager - I'd love to put myself in the front office, but there are better candidates.  Among those more qualified:

-Wally Bock at 3-Star Leadership waxes on the need to hire the best managers and coaches for your organization.  After all, you can have ping-pong tables, flat screens and free beer, but your players are out of there if the manager is a #$#@.

-Michael Wade of ExecuPundit - To lead effectively and encourage others to lead, you first have to know the reasons why people don't practice good leadership.  Once you know these, you at least have a shot to effectively coach others...

And that, my friends, is a front office team even the Devil Rays could love and afford....

The October 31st Carnival will be hosted by HRO Manager at HRO Manager

Comments

Dan Schwartz

Kris - Great carnival. As a huge Yankees fan, I'm going through withdrawal on baseball but since I guess the Devil Rays can like us, I can manage. Thanks for the shout-out.

Evil HR Lady

Thanks Kris. A real home run! (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

Frank Roche

Kris, that's just plain old great writing. y nicely done and what a topical way to into the carnival. Nice work, man.

Joan Woodbrey

Kris, this blog was so enjoyable I was smiling while reading it. What a way to relate to all your readers while getting across some great information. Good Job!

Michael Haberman

Great idea Kris! I put a link in my blog to try to direct more people here. Very creative presentation.

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