Management Lessons from the Philadelphia Sixers

Pythons and PowerPoints: How the Sixers cracked the culture code [ESPN]


  • Exceptional team culture leads to productivity and success
  • Build an environment where diversity and distinct personality are encouraged and celebrated.
    • "The talks are far-reaching," Brown says. "Each of the topics, each of the presentations, each offers some level of entertainment, some funny, some sad, some humorous. It's another layer to developing and growing culture, and people. And it's been a wonderful experience, and I think I achieved the goal that I wanted when we implemented the program."
  • There is a market inefficiency in how NBA teams are run. Compare how the Sixers, Spurs, Warriors cultivate their talent and add key pieces compared to other teams (credit Geoff Hutchinson).
  • Understand the basics and frameworks that lead to success in a specific domain while also exploiting novel approaches to execute those basics. Ben Simmons is not your average point guard but the coaching staff of the Sixers found that his talents while usually suited to a small forward are also very effective in the point guard role. 
    • "It really, at times, isn't an NBA feel," says Brown, who coached internationally for 17 years. "It's got a high level of motion, and movement. I hope that we use Joel the way we should. We stumbled on something. In the light of day it sure seems smart making Ben Simmons a point guard. I think that we've changed his career when we've just given him the ball, and ultimately maybe the career of the Philadelphia 76ers. And so offensively, I love our style, the pass is king."