Wednesday, June 13, 2012


A lot of media attention is focused on this huge event, which is both business and entertainment. Clearly football is a billion dollar business. This large business reflects the same behavior as other large companies, i.e.
-       A lack of innovation and
-       A lack of courageous leadership

Lack of innovation
The rules by which football is played are already the same for decades (except some minor changes). However, a change in the rules can make the game much more attractive. Think about abolishing offside. This will improve the customer experience a lot, because there is much more speed and there will be (much) more goals. A much smaller sport like (field) hockey has abolished offside some years ago and the number of goals scored per math increased significantly. Scores like 7-3 or 6-5 are no exception. Also there is much more action and no sleep inducing passing anymore.

In international hockey games there is the use of technology, like the video-referee to check the ‘real’ referee. A team can request this arbitration a couple of times per game. This works really well, as it is impossible to see everything from the right angle. Also the speed is so high that it is very challenging for the human eye to follow. As the financial interests are so huge, why not use technology to help the referee make the right decisions. Football is delaying the implementation already for many years. Also look at the lack of use of artificial grass.

Lack of courageous leadership
The leaders in football (FIFA; UEFA) are really doing everything to defend the status quo, just like most leaders of large companies do. No change in the rules, no use of technology, no limitation in the number of participants per tournament etc. You can not expect any disruptive innovation from these traditional leaders. The same is true for the coaches of the national teams. They keep on playing with the same players as long as possible. A newbie hardly gets any chance to play. They trust the experience of the old ones. And thus they miss out on the dynamics and creativity of the younger players. This frustrates the young ones and hampers their development. This is a leadership disease: sticking too long to the old guard. They will only defend their own turf and will certainly not bring any newness.

So, it is essential to keep your audience (your customers!) interested by product/service innovation as well as management innovation!
How are you doing in these areas?

Enthusiasm drives Excellence!

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