Be it Football or Business – Winning is the Art of Simple

20 Apr Be it Football or Business – Winning is the Art of Simple

winning the art of simple

I guess it’s in some advisors commercial interest to make the simple seem complex. But having spent decades in business and working with corporate clients as an advisor I can honestly say that business, for the most part, should not seem complex. If it does, you are probably not being effective and you need to return to the basics.

So what constitutes the basics?  Well, it isn’t the ready, fire, aim approach (often masquerading as agility) so often employed by business leaders. And, it isn’t grabbing at the latest trend, thinking this might give you the edge you’ve been looking for.

Instead, it is an integrated approach using basic common sense.  Sounds boring, but it works!

So, when we say integrated approach what does that mean?

Well, let’s try looking at business from a different angle. Let’s assume running a business is just another form of sport. It might help with the process and if nothing else it will let us trade the myriad of business clichés for some sporting ones.

Professional sport is about competitors trying to outdo one another. Those who train hard, play hard, enjoy the camaraderie and the argy bargy of it all are more likely to win. Perhaps not every game but certainly more often. So a resolute commitment to the game is a critical precurser to winning.

That assumed, what do professional teams, football for example, focus on to win?

1. Everyone is in on the goal – short term – win the game, long term vison – win the premiership

2. They always try to pick the best team possible

3. Each player understands their role within the team.

4. They ‘work hard for one another’ (it’s used ad nauseum in post-match interviews)

5. They practice hard to get the little things right. (the one percenters)

6. Strategy is based on the competitive environment they are in and integrated into their daily training and game execution

7. Management (the Coach) is, unapologetically, a dictatorship

What if we were to use the same agenda for business?

1. Everyone Can See the Goal

A marathon without a finish line is a recipe for certain demise yet many businesses expect everyone to turn up and do the same thing every day without punctuation. Goals are critical in providing a finish line. They must be routinely communicated, achieved, reset and then – go again.

Do you and your people know the end game? Do your people have access to the scoreboard?

2. They always try to pick the best team possible

Do you recruit positional specialists? How long do you carry bad performers before you drop them from the team? It sounds harsh but the research is conclusive – good performers do not want to work with low performers. Too costly to get rid of them? I’ll wager it’s cheaper than keeping them.

3. Each player understands their role within the team

Everyone can clearly articulate their role in the business. Sure a winger will come in field and help out by taking the ball up from time to time but they know their primary role is to protect the flank and provide attacking options out wide. How clear are your people on their positional play? I mean, really clear.

4. They ‘work hard for one another’

What expectations have been articulated around team culture? Where are the rules of team behaviour recorded? Are they referred to in team meetings? More broadly, are we talking each other up? Are we willing to take a knock for one another? If not, what/who needs to change?

5. They practice hard to get the little things right. (the one percenter’s)

What are the one percenters? Does everyone know? Are they reviewed and practiced on a routine, scheduled basis?

6. Strategy is based on the competitive environment they are in and integrated into their daily training and game execution

How well does the play book (plan) account for the competitive environment you are in? How well does it leverage your strengths and quarantine your weaknesses? Does it get onto the table at meetings? Is it a constant source of reference? Are the game stats coming onto the review table? Are they relevant? How much, if at all, do they influence strategy adjustment?

7. Management is, unapologetically, a dictatorship

Who is your unequivocal coach/dictator? Are they constantly reminding everyone of the goals, plans and behaviours required to win. Are they coaching individuals – hands on? Sure they may have help, and often a Board to account to, but do they accept that the buck stops with them?

When you drill down into each of these factors it can seem complicated however by continually lifting your focus back to these basic agenda items and by using tools and processes that simplify the process, the plan on a page format is one example, you will be able to think more clearly and navigate your way toward better decision making and, by extension, better scoreboard outcomes.

About the Writer

Ross is a business advisor who has spent decades working with corporates and SME’s to assist them balance their approach to winning. He has a real empathy for owners, executives and entrepreneurs trying to succeed in today’s competitive environment and has a simple yet effective approach to helping get the outcomes needed to succeed on a sustainable basis.

The areas he can focus on include:-

– Marketing & Sales

– Business Planning

– Board and Management advice

– Process Improvement systems

– Improved Productivity

– Project team management

If you are juggling these challenges in your business and want a way forward, contact Ross today. ross.h@forsythesadvisors.com.au

Forsythes Business and Financial Advisors
info@forsythesadvisors.com.au
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