Cuban's one of those guys who you either seem to love or hate. For our purposes today, I'll assume you belong to the former group, but it really doesn't matter. His comments today in a post called "I know you are, but what am I..." are worth considering, even if you can't stand him.
In commenting on the fact that he's been called a variety of names recently, he says:
"To me, the proof is always in the details. No matter what business Im in, most people work in headlines mode. They think that if they say or write something that makes a good headline , then there must be substance to their point. That’s not the way business works. Which is why most people never get further than the middle.
Substance comes from detail. Luck comes from detail. Winning comes from being willing to do the work on the details. Learning comes from investing in details."
He goes on,
"No one does the work. They do “their jobs”. Nothing more. Which is why , despite all “he is the best, he is the worst” commentary from people, none of it matters in the least bit.
The easiest thing in the world for anyone to do is Tivo a game and then break it down. What any of the 13 participants on the court did and how they did it is pretty easy to document for 99.9 pct of the time on the clock. The other .01 can be grey. It doesnt really matter. Aggregate data from a lot of games over a lot of seasons, and all of the sudden you have a database with value.
Once you have information, then you can add brainpower and try to do things better.
Once you have information, then you can start to define excellence and strive for it, measuring your progress along the way."
Isn't that what continuous improvement is all about? First decide where you are. That's the Organizational Profile part of the Baldrige Application. Then study the data, decide what an excellent organization looks like and then go for it. Sounds a lot like PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act).
Personally, I couldn't care less about the NBA. I like college hoops, but the pros leave me cold. But, I admire Cuban for his willingness to take a chance, and to call a spade a spade. His business philosophy has certainly made him successful and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Mavericks back again next year, winning the whole thing.