England is a very patriotic country, we have the Royal Family, we have Elgar’s music, we have Bake-Off and we have a national football team who we love very much, but are galant losers.
Galant? Yes, look at their recent performance.
Losers? For sure (the England team hasn’t won a major tournament except the world cup…over 50 years ago) in modern times. The desperation of the fans and the country as a whole in part is a great example of what goes wrong in business and the inability to shake of the shackles of the past and move forward.
But is is possible to shake-off the past.
In the mid 2000’s after the UK had won the bid to host the 2012 Olympics Team GB decided that the usual pathetic haul of medals collected from each Olympic Games simply wouldn’t cut it if we were the host nation.
So Team GB, began to invest and train athletes in a “strategic” way. They structured each athlete’s training regime to ensure that they reached peak performance when it most mattered. It worked because in 2012, instead of getting the usual 20 or 30 medals they won 65. In 2016 they won 67 as a new success-based working practice had been implemented.
Sadly English football has been some way from this, hampered by “old thinking” about how they train, how they motivate and how they reward.
Many businesses too are some way from this results focused strategy. Like the England football team their old working practices…even through they aren’t “working” are still being deployed because “this is how we do things” or “these have always worked and this is simply a blip.” This is a very dangerous game to play. Companies are falling by the wayside because either they aren’t providing what their customers want or because (like English football I suspect) their competitors have moved-on with their operational mechanics and they haven’t.
But, making this change isn’t easy. It requires a leap of faith. It requires a steadfast belief that YOU are able to make the change and be a leader and not a follower. It requires sponsorship throughout the organisation as there will likely be up and downs on the journey.
But, for businesses at least, what choice is there? If what they’re doing isn’t working (and often it isn’t) simply doing more of it isn’t going to magically make it work.
And for football? Well, two things that have come out of England’s World Cup campaign are i) a young team of inexperienced players with real talent can be more successful than we could have ever imagined when they have a good manager to inspire them, ii) Gareth Southgate – a kind, generous, supportive, mentor for the young team is a true inspiration to all.
The fact that the English team has taken the leap of faith and has been rewarded with (by usual standards) exceptional results means that it is possible to change – for them And for you.
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