Red Sox Raffle Ruckus


Red Sox Baseball

Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.

                                                                    —Peter Drucker

On the surface, it was such a good idea:  donate for a good cause.

Last Friday, a grandfather of one of the kids at our elementary school gave the Parent Teacher Organization two World Series tickets to Game 6 at Fenway Park.

The PTO can sell the tickets to raise money for student programs.

Looks great…on paper.

The challenge of course, is in the implementation.

Some issues:

1.  It wasn’t certain until midnight last night (when the Red Sox won game 4) that Game 6 would even happen.

(The game is this Wednesday.  So this project has some tight timelines.)

2.  The grandfather’s daughter (whose child attends the school) had a vision for how tickets should be sold:  a school-wide raffle to raise as much as possible.

Great in theory.

But here are some real world considerations.

Which parent volunteers are going to donate their time to:

  • Communicate to the school community that the raffle is even happening?
  • Get the raffle tickets printed/bought?
  • Decide what times tickets will be on sale for people to purchase?
  • Stand at a table all day today and tomorrow in hopes that people will buy tickets?
  • Figure out alternate options for people who want to buy tickets but can’t come in person to purchase?
  • Organize the raffle to ensure that the winner can be notified?
  • Pick the winning ticket, then deliver the Red Sox tickets to the winner?

Oh, yeah.  Just a couple of details to consider.

When these questions were brought up to Momma Keeper of the Tickets, her first response was to defend her vision:

“But I want to keep the raffle in the community!”

Sure.  So do we.  But who’s going to do the work to make that happen?

She had the vision, but she wanted someone else to do the work.

How often does this happen in organizations?

I worked on a project team a few years ago, and we came up with a mantra to keep us grounded:

Strive for the ideal, but live in the real.

To make a long story short, where did this raffle ruckus net out?

Two words:

Ebay.  Paypal.

(And even with this technological solution there’s work to be done…but it’s a whole lot less labor intensive.)

What strategies do you have to make sure good ideas and plans get implemented into old fashioned hard work?


This entry was posted in Decision Making, Leadership. Bookmark the permalink.