The end of complacency

What a world cup start! The first team to be eliminated from the tournament is the reigning World Cup winner, Spain. The average number of goals per game achieved in normal time is higher than in 2010 (3 compared to 2,26). And we can watch beautiful and very offensive football games. A delightful and promising start for the next weeks.

But what happened to Spain? We could watch mature, prize-winning footballers, suddenly out of their wit in front of more aggressive, if less skilled teams. The players looked ill prepared, tired and instead of adapting their style they would constantly go back to ticki-taka. They would fail to get their opponents overwhelmed, and instead would get overrun by the offensive might of The Netherlands and Chile. A classic case of lack of motivation: these highly paid players had already won everything that there is to win and instead lost everything there is to lose. With little creativity and no motivation, it comes as no surprise that La Roja had to go home early.

What we are seeing here is similar situation to what some businesses might encounter now. After a few years of austerity, where well mastered, efficient (and cost-reduced) processes were required, the new economical situation requires rejuvenated, agile and innovative strategies. The difficulty is also, when an approach has been successful you would tend to stick to it.

Don’t we say: “never change a winning team”? The problem with this approach, with which you have been successful in the past, is to motivate your people to adapt or to rethink strategies and processes nevertheless. This is where a well balanced instill of new and fresh blood comes in. You need to look for new employees that challenge the status quo, people that bring the new willingness to fight, to be innovative, but also that keep everybody in the organisation in constant movement. Companies that fail to understand this, will, as Spain, get overrun by their competitors that have managed to adapt their business model to the new economical situation.

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