I saw MoneyBall over the weekend that greatly inspired me, which was based on the book Moneyball: the Art of Winning an Unfair Game. The premise is that Billy Beane, the General Manager of the Oakland A’s, who’s trying to figure out how to compete with super deep pocketed baseball teams like the Yankees who keep snapping up their star players. The GM turns the entire industry upside down when he goes against convention big time and implements an analytical “saber metric” approach to assembling a competitive baseball team. Essentially, by using player stats individually and in combination with the other players, he was able to redefine how baseball is played with widespread industry changing ramifications.
Whether or not you like baseball is irrelevant. What is relevant is that, in the face of insurmountable odds, there may be opportunities that can help you think creatively and solve a wicked problem. For Billy Beane, the problem was how to compete for players with only a $41 M budget versus the budget of the NY Yankees who had a whopping $125M. He knew that he couldn’t compete with money alone, if at all, so he needed to step outside of convention and figure out how he could create a competitive team leveraging other attributes. At the end of the day, it wasn’t really a money ‘problem’.
Whatever your wicked problem is, there may be an opportunity to help you achieve success. Just don’t look for it in the ‘conventional’ way. Step away from the problem and take some time to think about ways to achieve the same objective. Creative thinking and problem solving can help you find a solution.