All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > SimLeague Baseball > A Corporation Running WIS
12/18/2013 11:19 PM

For those of you who have been fortunate enough to never work for a large corporation, this might help shed some light on why WIS is in the state it is.

How a corporation approaches a company like WIS.

A mid-level manager has a meeting with her team.  Someone brings up the idea that it would be really great to invest in WhatifSports (WIS).  It's serving a niche and has huge growth potential.  The sports fans in the room love the idea and vocally support it.  The non-sports fans in the room are really skeptical.  The HR representative on the team is eating a salad and not paying attention.

The manager is torn by wanting to make the vocal folks happy because she's been ignoring them lately, but she's kind of siding with the skeptics.  So she uses a tried and true management technique and assigns the originator of the idea to put a pitch together to present to leadership.  The manager introduces the person as a high potential employee who has been given a stretch assignment to present this to the leadership team.  This way, if leadership hates the idea, the manager falls back on the fact it was great experience for the employee.  If leadership likes the idea, the manager takes credit for the whole thing.

In this case, leadership likes the idea enough to fund it.  Really, it isn't expensive and with the growth potential, it's a no-brainer.  The HR leader is staring at her phone and not paying attention.

WIS is purchased and assigned to a Senior Director who knows nothing about WIS.  His only connection to how passionate sports fans are is the large crowds at Michigan football games he never attended while he was a student there.  However, it's on his performance goals for the year, so he puts headcount toward it.  Because it's easiest, he assigns the employees that came with WIS to continue their work.

The next year, the Senior Director is promoted to Vice President of something totally different in another part of the company.  A new Senior Director is brought in from another company.  The HR Director who conducted the final interview knows nothing about WIS and assumes it's a typo on the list of responsibilities for the role.

The new Senior Director has a new set of performance goals and WIS is not one of them.  So the resources are allocated to other projects, while still paying just enough attention to WIS to keep it running.

This pattern continues through a few more directors.  Occasionally, during slow times, the current Senior Director holds a meeting during which he/she asks the team if they have any ideas for revenue generating projects.  The folks who love WIS and have stuck with the corporation with the hopes they can return to working on it immediately pitch the idea of upgrading the site and putting some marketing behind it.  The Senior Director, with dreams of resurrecting one of the small investments and turning it into something he can brag about, tells the developers to go for it.

 

The developers make broad promises to the faithful customers on WIS, all in good faith because they've been assigned to do the work.  But soon the Senior Director is fired for not being liked by the HR Manager, a VP comes in to clean things up and the cycle begins again.  The WIS developers are once again allocated to projects that have more meaning to the VP and subsequent Senior Director.

Eventually, the WIS developers find a pocket of time where they are able to actually get an update done.  But under the thumb of a corporation, a company like WIS will never be provided with the time and care it needs to grow and thrive.  It's just another property bounced from one performance plan to another.  It's unfortunate but not hopeless.  Occasionally there's a perfect storm where the Senior Director in the above scenario is actually a genuine fan of one of the major sports and sees WIS as something cool enough to work on.  At the same time, there is capacity freed up so the right developers can be allocated to the project.  When that happens the power and resources of a corporation can turn something like WIS into a special entity.  Let's have high hopes, but not hold our breath.
12/20/2013 2:08 PM (edited)
Thanks cuppie1. A smart, useful analysis of how it is more or less probably going. 

As "Stakeholders" rather than "shareholders" - is there anything you think we can do to intervene in this structure and process of decision-making and management that could help make a difference?
12/19/2013 8:06 AM
Well that can't possibly be true.

Says no one who ever worked at a big company.
12/19/2013 1:05 PM
What kind of salad was the HR representative eating & why is she so fat despite eating salads ?
12/19/2013 8:35 PM
Ha!  Nice one rback.  My experience is that HR people never seem to pay much attention to anything, and yet they end up deciding who is going to be in certain roles.  So frustrating.  If someone who actually cares ends up in charge of WIS, it'll be by accident.
12/19/2013 10:34 PM
Posted by cuppie1 on 12/19/2013 8:35:00 PM (view original):
Ha!  Nice one rback.  My experience is that HR people never seem to pay much attention to anything, and yet they end up deciding who is going to be in certain roles.  So frustrating.  If someone who actually cares ends up in charge of WIS, it'll be by accident.
I think someone got the drunk secret Santa
12/19/2013 10:56 PM
Totally agree.  The HR folks have an opinion on everything and how to do it but seemingly never actually take a ToDo from a meeting and are never accountable to deliver anything.  If you point that out, then you are being difficult. --- That from someone has worked for 20+ years at the large company.
12/21/2013 9:36 AM
wow! Glad I never worked at a large corporation. wouldn't have been pretty.
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12/23/2013 11:39 AM
What the heck does that have to do with site performance??  I would suspect we already have participants that are a part of some "organization" or belief/lifestyle to which many of us would not personally endorse.  So what??
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12/23/2013 12:42 PM
Posted by chisox378 on 12/23/2013 10:51:00 AM (view original):

Hopefully WIS doesnt get involved with companies that support planned parenthood or companies that support the changing of the definition of marriage.

this thread devolved into the ridiculous...
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12/23/2013 1:07 PM
Ok, I really don't want to get into an extended political debate, and I vote Republican more often than not, but if you think that an organization whose primary function is to provide affordable birth control to people who don't want children is HURTING society, you either haven't thought this through AT ALL or you are a total idiot.

The world is rapidly becoming overpopulated with human beings.  We don't have enough jobs for the current workforce.  People raised by single parents are more likely to spend time in jail, more likely to die before they turn 20, etc.  So in what way is Planned Parenthood HURTING society?  If you're Catholic or Mormon, etc., and don't believe in birth control, nobody's forcing you to go pick any up.  But for all the high school and college students and underemployed single 20-somethings who DO want affordable birth control, PP can be the only option.  Trust me, you don't want all those girls having babies.  That's not good for society.  Not even a little bit.

And oh by the way - there WAS no "definition of marriage" prior to some states legislating them in the past decade or so.  In general the people driving that have been "Christian conservatives," so I assume that when you say you don't want to support companies that "support the changing of the definition of marriage" you mean companies that fund campaigns to institute laws or propositions that define marriage as being between one man and one woman?  Because those are the only changes to the legal definition of marriage anywhere in this country that I've seen in my lifetime.
12/23/2013 1:26 PM
It's illogical, indefensible statements like "Planned Parenthood hurts society" that convince so many educated people that Republicans are dumbasses.  If you want to say "I'm morally opposed to what Planned Parenthood does, and I won't support any corporations that support them," fine.  But to say that they hurt society, when all the logic in the world suggests the exact opposite to be true, makes you sound stupid.
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