What 5 strategy lessons Brazilian National Football can teach us? - Sitel - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
Being Brazilian, I have a little bit of experience of how it feels to define your nation by sporting success. In Brazil, we see football flair as part of our national identity. We celebrate the success of athletes like Pelé, Garrincha, Falcão, Sócrates, Romário or Ronaldo feeling these guy´s panache like an example of a national positive character.
However, this has been changing in the last decade. In the last World Cup, Brazil did not merely lose; “We” lost brutally in semifinals against Germany; deservedly and with boring play that left the nation in desolation, feeling anger and demanding consequences – including political ones.
In fact, there are several lessons any strategic analyst could learn from the Brazilian Football “crisis”. Actually, given the nature of sports, it’s not surprising that athletes and coaches have had some inspiring and insightful things to teach us about team work, leadership, perseverance, winning, and much more. Even if you are not a football fan, you can hopefully apply these 5 lessons to your life today:
1 – Building a culture of continuous improvement
From Pelé to Neymar no one will argue that Brazil is one of the most productive football player “factories” in the world. However, over the past 15 years, the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) has clearly not invested in developing other aspects of the sport in the country, showing as a result that there is no such thing as being stagnant in sport as in business.
The German Football Union (DFB), on the other hand, is a vivid advocate of long-term career planning and development. DFB is highly committed to nurture talent, starting with the training of youth teams, ongoing coaching, academies, investment in local, regional, and national leagues, partnering with TOP Global teams, etc.
Top performers in business are top performers because they consistently search for ways to make their best even better. For top performers, “continuous improvement” is not just a slogan. It’s a mantra that creates real and positive impact in the business.
2 – Developing a strategic plan
Planning is one of the most important parts of running a business, no matter whether it is a large multinational corporation trying to launch a new product or a national team targeting to win a world championship.
It is easy to start a project, but without a detailed planning it is like setting off on a journey to an unknown destination without a map. In that case, the chances to get lost are very high. The value of a plan simply cannot be overstated. Putting your ideas, objectives, mapped risks, resources and milestones own on paper is invaluable and the act of researching and compiling data about your competitors and the marketspace will prove to be critical in the years to come.
3 – Developing “bullet-proof” self-confidence teams
Brazil unexpectedly struggled and was unable to react against the pressure of playing at home and the difficulties created by the Germany team in the same way that employees too often underestimate their abilities to solve problems. This is why many companies and teams rely on motivational articles or videos to push teams up. However, becoming independent from external factors of motivation, and learn to push themselves internally, is one of the key success factors of high productive teams.
The truth is, we can push harder than we think and self-confidence is the cornerstone of all great performance teams. The role of the manager and leader is to create opportunities for teams to learn by problem solving and overcoming adversity, setting standard and attitudes high. By empowering teams to lead and recognize quality evidences, teams can move mountains!
4 – Detecting and analyzing failure
There are many researches that say that in many organizations any failure that can be hidden is hidden as long as it’s unlikely to cause immediate or obvious harm. It was evident, for instance, that without Brazilian’s beloved player Neymar, the team would struggle to play its offensive game. However this only became a problem in semifinal against Germany, when he was injured and not able to play. The goal for CBF should have been be to surface it early, before it has mushroomed into disaster.
Once a failure has been detected, it’s essential to go beyond the obvious and superficial reasons for it to understand the root causes. This requires the analysis, planning and discipline to ensure that the right lessons are learned and the right remedies are employed to mitigate risks.
5 – … but don’t overrate the problem
There’s a cultural fascination with the concept of failure. When we fail, we’ve learned a sequence of things that didn’t work as planned and, must probably, we won’t make the same mistakes again. This is true, but high performance teams are vowing to spend more time mining their successes rather than their failures for insights going forward.
Easier said than done, but if you’re going to reflect on your failures, focus improving what has succeeded in the past rather than avoiding what has failed. Pay much more attention to what is working for you.
Publish Date: July 8, 2015 5:00 AM
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