Managerial Concepts Used in Ocean’s Eleven
Shawn Lienemann Management 301 Test #1 Ocean’s Eleven In Ocean’s Eleven, there are many management techniques throughout the entire movie, during which they rob $160 million dollars from three casinos in Las Vegas.If you look at the movie in general, this is a great movie to choose and reflect on management concepts because there is a wide-range of concepts used in the movie.Some of the management concepts that I found in the movie were strategic thinking, personality, task groups, group development, risk, creativity and innovation, Type A & B personalities, organizational change, decision implementation, and expectancy theory.
Chapter 4 Module 1 1.
Strategic thinking is the process to create a vision and blueprint for that vision, creative thinking includes being creative, disruptive, and future focused. The scene from the movie that demonstrates strategic thinking is after Danny beats Rusty and other people in poker, Danny and Rusty go out for what appears to be a cup of coffee. This scene is when Danny reveals what he wants to rob and is telling Rusty about it. The very next scene you see Rusty and Danny looking at a blueprint of the vault for the Bellagio.
At this is the point when strategic thinking begins to kick in. As they are looking and studying the vault, Rusty says, this is quite possibly the least accessible vault in the world. But in his head he is beginning to create a vision on how they would even imagine pulling this off. Strategic thinking comes before strategic planning. Strategic planning is implementing a vision and the details of getting from point A to point B for the vision, but during this scene they haven’t started planning yet, just thinking of what it is going to take to pull off this heist.
Rusty then starts naming off people that they would need to start pulling on these cons. At this point they start developing a vision of how this heist is going to be pulled off, but first they need to go talk to Rueben, one because he has money, and second, because he knows more about casino security than anybody they know. Strategic planning and thinking can easily get confused, but to dumb it down and explain it the easiest, thinking is a broad idea of how and who will be used in a vision before you start planning and working out the details needed to carry out that vision. Chapter 9 Module 3 2.
Group development is a process that consists of five separate stages; forming, storming, norming, performing and finally adjourning. All five of these stages have a particular scene during the movie that demonstrates what occurs in that stage. The first stage, forming, is the development in which people join the group and define the group’s purpose, structure, and leadership. All this occurs during the recruitment process by Danny and Rusty, they bring in and recruit all the member’s and while during so the purpose and structure are passed onto them. The second stage, storming, is characterized by intragroup conflict.
This occurs when Danny and Rusty bring all the members to Rueben’s home and bring them all inside. Danny starts explaining what they must do to get into the vault, and minor conflict arises when a few of the members, like Yen and Saul start to ask questions about the job at hand, and question the possibility of them being able to do it. The third stage, norming, is characterized by close relationships and cohesiveness. I think this occurs before all the members go into the house in the prior example. They are standing outside socializing while having a few drinks and the members start talking and getting to know each other.
The fourth stage, performing, is when the group is fully functional and works on the group task. This occurs immediately after Danny explains the plan to them and they start performing by doing surveillance on the casinos. Basher does his duty and begins to check how he can cut the power and the plan is put into action. The final stage, adjourning, is during which the groups prepares to disband. This happens after they successful rob the casino and all the members are standing at the fountain and slowly each member leaves. Group development is something every group is going to go through.
You may not be sitting there and thinking to yourself that now you’re going through the storming phase, but for a successful group to get together and perform a task you will go through all of these stages inevitably, and subconsciously without even realizing it. Each stage must be completed before the next is started. If you gather a group of people together and right when they show up you tell them to make my house look better. It wouldn’t work. They couldn’t go straight from the forming stage, to the performing stage. There would be necessary steps between that for it to be a successful task.
They would most likely look the house over and start making suggestions on how to make it look better and define role’s or tasks to each person (storming). And as they come to an agreement on what needs to be done (norming), they can start fixing up the house. (performing). Chapter 8 Module 2 3. Personality is a unique combination of emotional, thought, and behavioral patterns that affect how a person reacts to situations and interacts with others. In the movie, every person has a distinct personality but the part that I like the most is when Linus and Saul have to take on or fake, a certain personality to do their job.
Saul pretended to be a wealthy foreigner who was staying at the hotel Benedict owned. He acted in a way that he had something very valuable to him that he needed to be put into the vault.Linus took on the character and personality of a Nevada Gaming Commission agent. Both Linus and Saul had to play a different character in the movie than what they actually were. When you act or “pretend” you have to change your personality to one that would match the character you are trying to be.
Saul comes off as a calm, confident, and wise old man from another country and if he had taken a different personality Benedict may not have trusted him and put this case into the vault. Linus on the other hand, came off as someone that was simply trying to do his job. When him, Benedict and Frank were in a conference room, Linus interacted with Frank and Benedict as if he really was a real NGC agent, and if you had failed to fulfill the personality change, the plan would have failed because he wouldn’t have been able to get access to the elevator shaft.
Chapter 7 Module 5 4. Organizational change is any altercation of an organization’s people, structure, or technology. This movie provides to two great examples of organizational change. The first example is a people and structure change; Rusty, Linus and Danny leave the elevator and are welcomed by Livingston saying “We got a problem”. This is something that if you ever hear, they is most likely going to be some sort of change. The group learns that Danny has been red flagged by the casino and will be watching him like a hawk.
A people change is made, and Linus is nominated to being the person that needs to activate the vault. Danny can no longer be a part of the plan because of his liability now of getting everyone caught, and Rusty removes Danny from the group leader position and takes his place. People are usually very resistant to change because of the fear of the unknown and uncertainty that may result from the change. In this case, Linus is very nervous and anxiety ridden because of the new role and responsibility being promoted into. Rusty uses a facilitation and support technique to help reduce Linus’ fear.
He lectures Linus on how to act, stand, and calls out his weaknesses, and told Linus of the adjustments that he needed to make before he would be able to do the job. Rusty was very supportive of Linus and believed in him, but he needed Linus to believe in himself. The only major disadvantage to this change was that the guarantee of success had lowered, because now a less experienced person was now doing an important job. Turns out Linus does a successful job and everything goes as planned. The second example of organizational change occurs when all the members are watching a trial run of the safe infiltration.
Rusty barges in and is obviously in a panic and starts speaking jargon, which no one can understand what he is trying to say. He then explains to the group that their plan is going to have to change because the power grid workers found the weakness to the electrical system and were in the process of fixing it, so that plan was no longer an option. And for the overall plan to work, they needed to shut down all the power to the casinos for a short period of time. This results in a structure change because the original plan that was completely laid out had to change.
Rusty is able to come up with an alternative solution, which involved a technology change as well. Something I will touch more on later in another concept. Chapter 7 Module 5 5. Creativity is the ability to combine ideas in a unique way or to make unusual associations between ideas. Innovation is the process of taking a creative idea and turning it into a useful product, service or method of operation. These two concepts complement each other, and it is hard to define and explain one without using the other. There are two parts in this movie that I can give examples of these concepts.
The first is when Basher first discovers that the casinos are working to fix the weakness in the power grid. And he has to come up with an alternative idea to take out the power in the casino. The second part is the process of getting a person inside the vault undetected. Cutting the power was essential and had to be done for the plan to be a success, and Basher thought they were going to have to cancel the job. But Basher knew of another way that could be used to cut the power to the casino, and actually to the entire city. An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) was the only other option to cut the power.
So the crew had to steal the “pinch” in order to fulfill the process of cutting the power. They used innovation to take Basher’s creative idea of using an EMP as an alternative to the power outage and implemented it into their operation. The process of getting into the vault was a rather lengthy one, possibly the hardest part sneaking Yen into the vault unnoticed. They took the facts they knew about the vault and used it to their advantage. From surveillance they knew that Benedict’s money was stored in the vault and understood the process by which the money was handled to get into the vault.
The Ocean’s crew came up with the creative idea of sneaking Yen into the vault by concealing him inside of a container that appeared to be holding money; They used a container that looked identical to the rest inside the vault so it did not look suspicious. Since they knew the process by which the guards handled and placed money into the vault they used a creative idea of the Malloy brothers faking that they had forgot their card, and told the guard it was Benedict’s money and needed to go to the vault.
The guard took it to the vault immediately because he knew that Benedict’s money was placed there. Chapter 9 Module 3 6. A task group is a group of individuals brought together to complete a specific job task; their existence is often temporary because when the task is completed, the group disbands. There isn’t one particular scene or part of this movie that describes this concept besides the definition itself. The best way to describe it is by breaking the definition down into three parts and giving the examples from the movie.
Danny and Rusty recruited all the individuals they needed and brought them together to work as a team, their job was to help them rob the casino, which was the specific task. And finally, the job was only temporary and they disbanded at the end of the movie when the entire crew was standing and staring at the fountain. The reflection and application of this concept is pretty simple and explains itself, but in reality the movie doesn’t define what it is in any better way. Their mere purpose for being there was to get the job done, and they all get paid.
There were no talks about doing another job or seeing each other after the job, it was a pure task group. Another important key to this concept is bringing INDIVIDUALS together, not bringing groups of people together to complete a task. The first thing that came to mind when I read this term, was that it was like a contracting job, when building a house. Yes you may be able to build a house with one group of people. In my eyes I see it that you would bring in a landscaper for the foundation and digging of basement, a framer to build the house and do the framing, a plumbing for the plumbing, and electrician for all the wiring, etc.
You bring in an individual with a specific skill to fulfill his job duties and when the entire group of individuals do and finish their job, you have a house. This is a pretty vague example and may not be entirely realistic because usually in some cases you bring in a group of people for one job on the house, but I think you get my point. In this movie they do the same thing. Danny and Rusty pick individuals based on their skill sets and expertise in a given field. And all the individuals bring a skill and contribute to the specific task of robbing Mr. Benedict, and as a task group, are successful in doing so.
Chapter 3 Module 4 7. Decision Implementation is putting a decision/plan into action; this includes conveying the decision to the people who will be affected by it and getting their full commitment to the decision and plan. An example of decision implementation is when the whole team first gets together over at Rueben’s house. All the members are standing around the pool and Mr. Ocean comes out and welcomes everyone and states that this job is both “highly lucrative and highly dangerous”, and if that is something they don’t want to be a part of they can leave now, and no hard feelings with be taken.
Everyone decides that they want to be involved with this job and Mr. Ocean takes them inside and starts to describe the plan to the other members. This is decision implementation because Mr. Ocean explains to all of the members that this job will be very dangerous and he wants their full commitment to him and his plan. After this scene, their plan is put into action. They start by doing reconnaissance on all the casinos. Mr. Ocean wants to know everything about the casinos. He wants to know every cart route, learn everything about all the guards, workers, and dealers.
He wants to know where they are from, their nicknames and even what they put into their coffee. Every member is put in different positions around the casinos and the reconnaissance phase begins. All this begins with the decision implementation and getting all the members to commit to the plan and then they put their plan into action by doing their reconnaissance inside of the casinos. Chapter 3 Module 4 8. Risk is a situation in which a decision maker is able to estimate the likelihood of certain outcomes. The job they are planning on doing is an extremely risky job.
The likelihood of them stealing the money is relatively low because of the level of security and risk involved. After Danny and Rusty begin to create a vision of how they want to rob the casinos. They first consult with Rueben who is a wealthy man and also very knowledgeable about casino security. In this scene, the first line to come out of Rueben’s mouth is “Are you out of your god damn minds? Are you listening to me? Your both nuts”. Ruben proceeds to tell them, it is impossible to rob a casino because, they have guards, cameras, watches, locks, and vaults.
He then tells them three examples of people who tried to rob a bank, none of which were successful and only one was even able to make it out of a casino. This whole movie is based on risk, in every scene or every part of the plan you can see and estimate the risk involved. But this scene is where the whole plan in general is viewed to be very risky, and Rueben lays it on the line to Dusty and Danny by pretty much telling them it is impossible to do. A risk is a probability that a negative occurrence will happen to you and you have to suffer from the consequences.
Ultimately in this movie, the risk is extremely high with the consequences involved. Robbing a casino means jail time, and I’m no lawyer or anything but I would probably guess 5+ years. Another reason this scene is a good example of risk is not because it is a “risky” scene, but because Danny and Dusty want to minimize their risk in this job as much as possible. In this conversation with Rueben you can tell that he knows a lot about casino security. His knowledge is valuable and Dusty and Danny know they may not be able to pull it off without Rueben, so they recruit him.
Chapter 7 Module 5 9. Type A personalities are people who have a chronic sense of urgency and an excessive competitive drive. Type B personalities are people who are relaxed, easygoing and accept change easily. There are 3 characters in this movie that portray the differences in personalities perfectly. The Malloy brothers, Virgil and Turk, have a type A personality. Early on when they are recruiting for the team, there is a scene where the brothers are racing against each other, one with a remote control car, and the other in a real car, and they are constantly yelling at each other.
Later during reconnaissance there is a scene where the two of them are doing surveillance in the casino and they start arguing over whose watch is correct, and they were only two minutes off. Rusty on the other hand has a type B personality. He portrays this personality throughout the entire movie and to use a different example than from anything else I have used so far; Linus and Rusty during reconnaissance are trying to figure out Terry’s schedule. Linus mentions that everyday about this time a woman comes walking down the stairs.
When the woman comes walking down, Rusty immediately knows who is it, and tells Linus her name is, Tess, Danny’s ex-wife. He remains calm in this situation knowing that Tess being involved now changes the situation. These are examples of both the type A and type B personalities. For the Malloy brothers, it is in their nature to excessively compete with one another, they are constantly bickering at one another and strive to prove the other one wrong no matter the costs. Virgil was willing to drive and smash his brother’s remote control car just so he could win. Rusty is the exact opposite of the Malloy brothers.
He always remains calm and relaxed even when something goes wrong with their plan, or there needs to be a change. It is in his personality to accept the change of events and react to the change rather than to resist or reject it. When he discovers Tess is the girl seeing Terry, he knows what is going on, and he remains relaxed and calm when he tells Danny that he can no longer be a part of this project. One further comment I would like to add to this concept is that I don’t believe that just because a person may have a type A personality doesn’t mean that is dominant personality.
I’m saying this based on the Malloy brothers, they are a type A personality in the film toward one another; I would define myself as a type B personality, BUT the moment you put me and my younger brother together, I would shift more to a competitive and urgent type A personality. Only because he’s my brother, it’s in our nature to be competitive with one another, just like the Malloy brothers are to each other. I still would have the type B personality as my dominant one, but that could change if I was around either of my brothers.
And that is why I feel that the Malloy brothers have a type A personality, because they are BROTHERS, I have done the exact same thing they did in this movie with my own brother Jared. We had a pointless excessive argument on whose phone had the correct time. I have Sprint and he has Verizon, anytime I talk to my brother and we arrange a time to meet somewhere, I’ll say “Meet me at 5:15 sprint time “. This is only something I would argue over with my brother, no one else. So I feel that a person could change their personality type depending on the people they are around.
Chapter 10 Module 4 10. Expectancy Theory says that an individual tends to act in a certain way based on the expectation that the act will be followed by a given outcome and the attractiveness of that outcome to the individual. Benedict and Tess are leaving the boxing match when a phone rings from Tess’s pocket. She answers the phone and Rusty is on the other side, and asked to talk to Benedict. Rusty tells Benedict that he is being robbed, and wants to make a deal on getting the money out of the hotel.
Benedict immediately goes to the camera room to see what is going on. Rusty tells Benedict that both stashes are rigged with explosives and tells Benedict to carry half the bags out to an unmarked van out front. Benedict follows Rusty’s commands and puts half of the money in the van. Benedict then calls the cops, and the SWAT team arrives and Benedict hopes to reclaim his stash of money in the vault and also in the van. As we both know, this does not go how Benedict foresaw it going and he loses all $160 million.
This is an example of expectancy theory because the Ocean’s Eleven crew expected that once Benedict knew he was getting robbed, he would call the cops. The crew’s act was robbing Benedict and the given outcome would be Benedict calling the cops and ultimately the outcome of them stealing all is his money. There were three major things that had to go right before this outcome would play out, first the phone placed in Tess’s wallet had to be answered by someone, second, Benedict had to believe that the “false vault robbery” was real and true, and finally that he would call the cops when given the opportunity.
If any one of these three steps would not have gone as planned, the whole job could have been a failure. But that is what expectancy theory is about, they looked at the situation and planned it out exactly how they thought Benedict would act in that situation. Finally, the money was the attractive outcome for the Ocean crew; they simply planned the entire job based on what they “expected” Benedict’s reactions would be.