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The Corporate World Cup

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The New Dawn Liberia The New Dawn LiberiaThe 2010 World Cup in South Africa has entertained our sporting venues and living rooms for the last one month or so and finally came to a screeching halt on Sunday July 11th 2010 with the impeccable Spain lifting the coveted trophy. Besides the memorable goals:

The singing and adoring fans: and the complexity that surrounding the jabulani ball, amongst other excitements that come along the “Once in a lifetime” tournament. South Africa is expected to rip $13 billion boost into its coffers, with the potential to grow its GDP by 4.6 % in first quarter of 2010. Additionally we have witness the advantages of team work as opposed to the individual talent harbored by many of the players who thrilled us with their moves.

Although a soccer fan, it is the decisions, the wrath, the joy and tears of the aftermath that strike me the most in the tournament. Pending the undesired results, gone are more than a quarter of the thirty two coaches that started the tournament including Dunga of Brazil, Erickson of Ivory Coast just to mention but a few. In some nations presidents had to voice their frustration from bad results; Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, though overturned his earlier ban on the Super Eagles for two years, used his position to sound the warning.

Equally President Sarkozy of France wanted a government task force to investigate the cause of Le Bluer poor performance who were bundled out in the group stages and never won a single match in the entire tournament. Given the high sentiments attached to soccer and performance, isn’t it time for a similar trend at corporate level! What do I mean by this? To answer this question let us analyze the game in a business set manner.

The business entity is divided into different departments such as human resources, sales and marketing, customer service, administration and the likes depending on the organization. Similarly in soccer we have the technical bench that is headed by the coach, while inside the field we have the midfielders, defenders and the lethal strikers tasked to complete the deal by getting the desired goals. Reading from the layout of both soccer and business entity, it is clear that both are team work activities that cannot be handled by a single department.

As the English say; in a team effort, you are only as strong as your weakest link, thus any flaw within any department automatically brings down the performance of the entire team. For example if your sales and marketing department which is tasked to sell the merchandize are not well supported by the customer service and the proper logistics from the administration departments, then the sales volume like goals in soccer will be lacking.

Drawing back from the 2010 tournament, the Argentine team came with a lot of hope and was a darling of many fans, until that humiliating defeat by the Germans. It was clear that Maradona’s strategy of not fielding a central defender as he believes in strong attack; was what led to his own downfall. As strong as Argentina were in attack and midfield, they were lacking in defense and hence weakening the entire team. Likewise in your business entity, you may have the Maradonas for managers and Lionel Messi for your sales and marketing or customer service, but so long as you have a shaky human resource or any other department, the entity is bound to be unproductive.

To strengthen each department, I believe that those team members and managers who do not live up to expectation, should be ejected or benched just as it happens in the lovely game of soccer. Sticking to one ideology and the same blemished team members will most likely results in undesired outcome as Italy did in the past tournament.

It is time for unproductive managers to pave way for other masterminds who can change the game plan of the organization. Many a times in the business world bad performance is blamed on others or the environment. For your business, identify the weakest link and look for ways to improve on it. Utilize training resources; revise the business procedures and other tactics that will bring about team cohesion consequently increased revenue.

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