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NFL Cheating Scandal: 4 Lessons For CIOs
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jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
1/26/2015 | 6:52:03 PM
Re: People can reform
I suspect strongly that allegations of widespread steroid use (which turned out to be true) would have been dealt with a lot more promptly and decisively if the traditional structure had remained,  Landis wouldn't have tolerated it for five seconds, regardless of the fallout; and while he might well have used a sledgehammer instead of a scalpel, at least he would not have allowed a culture of impunity to develop (which *is* what happened under Selig).

That said, I will give Selig his due; he has been a very good business manager and he does appear to have solved the parity issue.

 
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
1/26/2015 | 6:27:49 PM
Re: People can reform
I have to say I like Bud Selig. He's done a pretty good job of cleaning up baseball after a rough start. The revenue is up. The parity is great. The game is as clean as can be expected (it will never be perfect). And now they're addressing some out of control pace issues. I think he deserves some credit for being willing to deal with some unpopular years. I like the NBA's Adam Silver, too. Seems to be up for anything.

It is Mr. Goodell who I think worries too much about appearences and not enough about what is right.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
1/26/2015 | 6:27:29 PM
Re: The Football in the Room
Those kinds of questions are key to not living in the state of insanity, i.e. doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
1/26/2015 | 6:24:42 PM
Re: The Football in the Room
@jagibbons- Oh no! Do you mean to say that getting my nose broken is now a tradition? Or my kidney stones? It is going to be a tough few years ahead. :)

I swear that every business would be benefit from always asking the passover question: Why is this night different than all other nights? I don't mean it in a religious way. I just mean ask yourself what is changing, what is the same, what should we be doing differently?
jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
1/26/2015 | 6:22:17 PM
Re: People can reform
That's a large part of it, but trying to figure out who should appoint/elect the Commissioner instead strikes me as a can of worms; hence my proposal to give responsibility for business affairs to a President appointed by the owners and serving at their pleasure; while keeping the Commissioner (elected for a renewable, fixed term) responsible for discipline.  In the latter case, the term should be long enough to allow the Commissioner to take the long view and to focus on the integrity and well being of the game itself without having to worry about short term fallout; and to make it unlikely that he would be removed for making a single unpopular decision (as it is likely Fay Vincent was for banning Pete Rose).

I'll note that when the office of Commissioner of Baseball was created and for a long time afterwards, the Commissioner was focused mainly on discipline and the integrity of the game, while the league presidents remained responsible for day to day business affairs, scheduling of games, hiring and firing of umpires, etc.  One of the reasons why this structure worked was that in the wake of the Black Sox Scandal, the owners didn't want to be held responsible for cleaning up the game, so they delegated the job, and the first Commissioner was strong enough that the owners were afraid to remove him; and once Kennesaw Mountain Landis was dead, the division of responsibility was well established and the job of Commissioner was deemed indispensible.  In the end, the division of responsibility failed because the owners wanted more of a focus on money and marketing at the top, so they fired the Commissioner and appointed one of their own (Bud Selig) in his place, then replaced the traditional federal structure with the existing unitary one (naturally, I think both were severe errors).

In the case of the NFL, Pete Rozelle was so good at popularizing the game that marketing became the primary focus of his successors.  To his credit, Rozelle knew how to properly balance the business and the disciplinary sides of the job, which is why combining them worked until he retired; but it hasn't worked all that well since.  I don't know what the story is in the NBA, but I suspect it is much the same.

 
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
1/26/2015 | 5:42:21 PM
Re: People can reform
@jries921- I've always thought the problem with sports commissioners is that they work for the owners, not the game. When they do something "for the good of the game" it is actually for the bottem line of the owners. I think if the commissioners first thought was for the good the game, they'd do it very differently.

Sadly, I think most C-suites act the same way. 
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
1/26/2015 | 5:36:20 PM
Re: The Football in the Room
@SaneIT- Funny my laptop actually seems to have that problem and I never file a ticket because it is sort of like taking a car to the mechanic for a funny noise. It never makes it when the mechanic is test driving the car. :)
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
1/26/2015 | 12:32:44 PM
Re: The Football in the Room
In the past, my organization has been ripe with the "we've always done it that way." Actually, it was worse. One long-time employee used the phrase, "If we've done it twice, it's tradition." Not only is innovation stifled when intelligent people don't ask the tough questions like "Why?" Security and integrity are also often sacrificed at the altar of tradition.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
1/26/2015 | 12:30:49 PM
Re: People can reform
Great idea on separation of duties. That is one of the most effective process controls any business can use to protect itself from a single individual trying to do harm (or accidentally doing harm). While people can collude, proper separate of duties is a very strong control mechanism.
jries921
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50%
jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
1/24/2015 | 2:26:00 PM
People can reform
But repeat offenders should not be tolerated.  Get caught once and you get a stern warning (except in extreme circumstances; like theft or other crimes, in which case the police should be called).  Get caught twice and you're fired.  The problem with zero tolerence policies is that they don't distinguish between succumbing to temptation and impunity; the former is much easier to correct than is the latter.

 I consider the deflation case to be an extreme circumstance that should result in lifetime bans (or at least multiyear suspensions for the perpetrators and those who abetted them).  Too bad that modern sports commissioners are more inclined to be CEOs than referrees in chief; even Major League Baseball has succumbed to that particular temptation under the recently retired Bud Selig.  Says me the referee job is the more important one.  And if the two jobs really are in serious conflict with each other, then they should be separated.  In the case of the NFL, it might be a good idea to have a President (serving at the pleasure of the owners) responsible for business affairs and a Commissioner (elected for a long fixed term) responsible for discipline (officials would work for the latter).

 
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