Organizational Management Lessons from Joe Lacob, the Venture Capitalist who transformed the Golden State Warriors


This is really an interesting article by Bruce Schoenfeld, from the New York Times MagazineWhat Happened When 03mag-promo-articleLarge-v2Venture Capitalists Took Over the Golden State Warriors: After racking up a historic N.B.A. season, the team’s owners— most of them from Silicon Valley — think their management style deserves some of the credit. Are they right?

The article tells about the innovation and management approach brought to the Warriors by its majority owner, Joe Lacob, a venture capitalist. Here is a key paragraph:

Lacob was not the first venture capitalist to buy a franchise, but he is the first to operate one according to what might be called Silicon Valley precepts: nimble management, open communication, integrating the wisdom of outside advisers and continuous re-evaluation of what companies do and how they do it. None of that typically happens in professional sports. Most franchise owners of previous generations became wealthy mastering businesses that did one specific thing, if only because that was the way that people used to become wealthy in America. They’ve run their teams, for better or worse, in the same autocratic, hidebound fashion that they ran those companies. As a manager, Lacob prefers to surround himself with expertise and exploit it.

Notice the precepts:

nimble management,
open communication,
integrating the wisdom of outside advisers
and
continuous re-evaluation of what companies do and how they do it.

This strikes me as an important list of concerns for any organization. Think of the opposite for each of these:

Nimble management is better than rigid management
Open communication is better than closed communication
Integrating the wisdom of outside investors (learning from many sources) is better than ignoring the wisdom of others
Continuous re-evaluation is better than not re-evaluating very often at all.

Joe Jacob, maybe the real superstar of the Golden State Warriors
Joe Jacob, maybe the real superstar of the Golden State Warriors

This lengthy essay is worth your time! Mr. Schoenfeld fleshes these ideas out throughout his story of the ways that Mr. Lacob has transformed the Warriors, not just on the court, bus as a thriving over-all enterprise.

So, how is your organization doing?

 

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