What Do Americans Know About Football? A Surprising Answer From Public Spend Forum

We’ve written a couple of articles about the Leicester City miracle, but as the team received the Championship Trophy on Saturday, it came as a surprise to find one of our American colleagues producing a very insightful piece on the same topic. Johnathan Messinger who edits Public Spend Forum is clearly very knowledgeable about the game, and makes several very interesting points about the team’s success.

Going back to our articles, we started by looking at the talent management question here; how a team full of apparent second-rate players had become unbeatable, and what that might suggest for our own procurement talent management. We pointed out that, Talent does not always come in obvious shapes and sizes, or with a label saying “trained in a big blue chip firm”.

In our more recent post, we commented on how this amazing victory takes away the excuses that tend to be used in many different fields, including our own - “oh, we just aren’t big enough / don’t have enough funding / haven’t got the right people”.  Leicester have showed that really, not a lot is actually “impossible”.

Jonathan in his article looks at five different angles on the Leicester story, relating all of them to the issues facing government procurement. Of course, he is talking about US government, but really everything he says applies just as well anywhere else. His five points include “Engagement is essential” and "You Can’t Simply Throw Money at a Problem”, but here to give you a flavour is his point number three.

You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

You hear again and again that governments are too entrenched in their way of doing things, that change is too slow and too ineffective. The culture is too risk-averse, too embattled and too entrenched. Leicester City, though, is the prime example of an organization that overhauled how it performed in just a few months, thanks almost entirely to a change in leadership and philosophy. New manager, the Italian Claudio Ranieri, was hired after former manager Nigel Pearson flamed out, the team just barely escaping relegation to the league below last year.

Ranieri was known prior to this year as “The Tinkerman,” a manager who was perpetually changing his lineups, changing his tactics, keeping opponents on their toes but also creating an air of instability within the club. This season, Leicester City had fewer changes to their lineups than any other club, and fewer injuries as well, as Ranieri rethought the intensity of the club’s training regimen. At 64, Ranieri reinvented himself, and in the process, rejuvenated his organization.

It is a very good read for football fans and even those of you who hate the game – genuinely insightful and enjoyable, so do read the whole article here at Public Spend Forum.

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