How to avoid a slow corporate death using Premier League tactic


Alex Bigland corporate death, Blog, uk...

The papers are full of corporate disasters, and dinosaurs that just can’t seem to move forward. 

We’ve all learned lessons from Blackberry whose year on year profit loss is quite astounding, or MacDonald’s who had to bring in British Steve Easterbrook as an internal activist to shake up the cosy long-service executive culture in Chicago. 

Hiring the wrong people is where it all starts. Poor decisions and implementations are followed by declining customer and employee satisfaction and eventually lower profits. 

Worryingly PwC’s report on CEOs shows that while 60% of them are aware that there is more opportunity now than 3 years ago, more than three quarters weren’t sure if they had the talent and capability to take those opportunities. 

If they’re not taking them, you can guarantee that someone unhindered by the shackles of big business will be about to disrupt their market left field. 

Ineffective people nearly always hire ineffective people and create ineffective teams, departments and even companies. Talented people leave, and often there is no one left to question decisions or stop a company going full throttle in the wrong direction. 

Nokia once had the lion’s share of the mobile market, but failed to capitalise on smart phones largely down to a lack of collective emotional capital. No one challenged, and ineffective managers kept doing the same thing. 

It’s a disease of big companies that no matter how successful they’ve been in the past, transforming for the future means getting the right stakeholders involved, and constantly innovating to stay fresh and prevent corporate inertia. 

Premier League tactics:

Audit you team skills
Top football teams will audit what skills they have, and sense check if they have the right ones to win. Maybe they’re missing a good defender or striker. 

Measure motivation 
How do employees in a team interact, what’s the team spirit? Even the best players when put together in a squad can be mediocre if there is no vision, team spirit or sense of motivation. 

Keep an eye on the transfer market 
You might think you have the perfect team right now, but what about in six months’ time? Will that new arrival at a competitor result in your company missing out on essential qualities. If you’re not attracting the best players, does this say something about your brand in the marketplace? Perhaps you’re not offering enough money? Keeping an eye on the market and talent scouting is essential. 

Practise makes perfect 
Premier League squads train, train and then train some more, so that when they’re on the pitch for real, they know exactly what to do and who to pass to. Regular and constructive feedback, up and cross-skilling team members and making sure everyone is clear about what the team has to achieve is part and parcel of delivering it. 

Market disruption aside, do you also have people willing to cause positive internal disruption? The best performing and forward thinking companies employ people who are constantly thinking “What can I do differently to keep myself, my team, my department and my company moving forward”. 

Hiring managers need to spot this type of person at interview – someone who can be disruptive in a positive way while supporting the company values. It’s a hard task. Gallup research found that companies fail to choose the right candidate for a management job 82% of the time. 

A good recruitment specialist can be the eyes and ears of your company. They shouldn’t help you hire someone then stop there and wait for the next call. 

By working in ongoing partnership with your company a recruiter builds a profile of what you want and need, can advise you using their in-depth market knowledge, and make sure you find someone who is effective in the job right from day one. 

If Leicester City can go from near relegation just a year after promotion to the Premier League, to this year’s winners, just think what your company can achieve with the most effective people. 


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