“It’s All About Teamwork”: What Businesses Can Learn From the World Cup

In a bout of astounding consumer savvy, Primark recently unveiled a rather lurid ode to the World Cup, a product that we may lovingly christen the ‘two-shirt’. This garment appears to be an ungainly response to the ironised affection given to the tandem bike, popularised by The Goodies back in the seventies, and it’s appropriately hideous.

Nevertheless, the “Dream Team” emblazoned across its chest (or “chest-s”) does promote one integral component of the World Cup, and that’s teamwork. Roy Hodgson is pressing for it, and understandably so; England’s game is endangered by superstar strikers like Rooney and Sturridge ‘Rambo-ing’.

But let’s think about business. The world doesn’t stop while the beautiful game is played (even though most of us wish it would) but it’s about time we stop to take heed of the advice we yell at our TV screens and apply it to how we work.

Get Into Position

There has been a lot of talk about Hodgson’s team formation. Its rigidity has been noted as exemplary of “English conservatism”, and its 4-4-2 structure has been criticised by Gary Lineker as a “step back” from contemporary formation.

Whether you’re with Hodgson or against him, it’s time to look at the way your team is set up. Could it be considered unnecessarily antiquated? Could there be some shifts in hierarchy that could really benefit efficient communication between your employees?

Remember, “it’s always been that way” is a bad justification. Think tactically and have a good reason for the way your company runs; if you can’t think of any, it’s time to be more intentional and change things up. The best football teams are adaptable, and the same can be said of businesses.

Pass The Ball

There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing a player trying to do it all themselves instead of doing the smart thing and passing the ball over to an unmarked team member. Why then do we do it so often when it comes to work?

Some tasks will need a second pair of eyes, but surprisingly a lot of employees don’t like the idea of others scrutinising their work. Peer review is always helpful, because it encourages humility while improving the quality of work by catching any small mistakes that may go overlooked. The ego is the downfall of the striker; just look at Nicklas Bendtner.

Small business owners must not be too proud to ask for help. Building an enterprise from scratch is extremely difficult and you shouldn’t be afraid to delegate certain tasks to others, allowing you to focus on more pressing matters.

Knowing the Opposition

One of the comments Hodgson made about England’s recent friendlies with Ecuador, Peru and of course the tempestuous game with Honduras is that they were designed “to show us something very different”, noting that matches with the likes of Sweden or Norway would not have offered any new experience.

Think: are there any competitors that you may be overlooking? Some lifelong rivals can often draw attention away from up-and-comers who are going to overtake you in the long run. Pointing attention at the same competition can also leave your tactics stale in a market that is ever expanding.

The World Cup officially starts on Thursday, but there’s no reason for you to postpone putting these lessons into action. Get ahead of the game!


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