What do Football Teams and Boards have in Common?

An article by Helen Pitcher

As Stephen Gerrard tweeted during the Brazil v. Germany debacle, Brazil have Neymar, Portugal have Ronaldo but Germany has a team.

Neymar, the team’s linchpin, taken out of the equation Brazil fell apart. Not to mention England, who managed to post their worst performance since 1958. So what’s the relevance of this in the boardroom?

It is relevant in several key areas: succession planning, strategy and leadership. A well focussed board pays attention to all these areas, thus ensuring seamless performance and no over-reliance on one key member. The impact of the chairman and their artful orchestration of the process is also key.

Perhaps as we reflect on lessons learnt from the World Cup useful analogies can be drawn. A board that does not manage its succession well will surely suffer the consequences in terms of business continuity. Lack of focus on strategy, leadership and execution will engender similar consequences and could even lead to a business meltdown much as we saw for both England and Brazil. Capability, clear roles, dynamics, etc. are all key to excellent execution.