One of my all-time favorite books is Moneyball by Michael Lewis. If you’ve read the book or seen the recently released movie, you know that the Harvard Business School economics major Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane hired had a very different way of looking at baseball player statistics that completely changed the A’s draft strategy and ultimately reinvented Major League Baseball player draft practices. Teaming someone who knew the game of baseball with someone who understood numbers, innovated baseball plus helped the A’s achieve their desired outcomes for more than a decade.
During the past 11 years since Beane found great success in applying the innovative draft approach, there’s been a shift in how companies approach innovation. The element that’s been added is the social component. In effect, companies replicate the A’s successful teaming of baseball and statistics know-how by using social tools to expose company issues to potential problem solvers with diverse backgrounds. Companies reach out to customers, employees, fans and followers, seeking insights in an attempt to achieve game-changing thinking and help their organizations prosper.
Could this same approach solve the problems of the Euro? It’s clear that unless there is some solution to preventing the further slide of the Euro, the economic infrastructure of Europe is in jeopardy, a potential disaster for the European financial markets that would likely have a negative ripple effect on world financial markets.
Perhaps if the Euro situation was approached from a different perspective, just like in the case of the Oakland A’s, the odds of reaching a viable solution would be improved. That’s why I was relieved to read about an offer Lord Wolfson, CEO of Next, made recently in an effort to avoid economic collapse of the Euro: £250,000 or close to $400,000 (US) to the person or team with a successful idea for ending the economic impasse.
In an interview with The Daily Mail UK, Lord Wolfson said: “This prize aims to ensure that high quality economic thought is given to how the euro might be restructured into more stable currencies. Consideration will need to be given to what a post-Euro Eurozone would look like, how transition could be achieved and how the interests of employment, savers, and debtors would be balanced. Importantly, careful consideration must also be given to managing the potential impact on the international banking system.”
So if you’re up for a big challenge, consider putting together a team together to work on this pressing issue. You and your team could deliver the much-needed change for the financial infrastructure of Europe. And if you do it quickly, it sounds like there could be a nice holiday bonus in it for you.