utorok, 15. 05. 12

England is West Brom (not Chelsea)

Truth hurts, but truth is necessary for progress

By Sue Unerman, Chief Strategy Officer, MediaCom UK

Sue Unerman

Imagine that you are about to make a critical senior appointment for your company. In fact an appointment that is widely regarded as the most crucial and high profile in the industry. Getting the right man (or woman) for the job is essential to your immediate future success. You consult your colleagues, you perhaps speak to some head hunters about who is out there. Then you interview only one candidate and immediately appoint him.

Could you do that? I don't think I could. Even if I knew exactly who I wanted for the job, and in our industry it is easy to think that you know or know of all the top people, you would want to bring in more than just one person to talk to. I also think I would want some people who were left of field to interview if only to endorse my decision.

Yet this was the stunning process for the role of England Manager. One interview, one job offer. As far as I know, no backup plan.

Hodgson's appointment underwhelmed the football pundits of the nation. The nation, against all objective evidence to the contrary, thinks of the England team as a complete set of world beating footballers who are just one world beating football manager short of winning the European Championship. Roy Hodgson isn't known for this. His reputation is built on taking mid table teams to the height of their potential (Switzerland, Fulham).

My resident football expert thinks that this makes him an interesting appointment. He pundits that if we look at the England team with our heads and not our hearts they are more like a "mid table" team that needs a manager who can make them over achieve against technically better teams (Spain, Germany, Holland).

It has long been my observation that we talk about England's performance in international competitions with a surprising degree of shocked disappointment when once again they don't do that well. We come up with theories of (excuses for) why this has happened (including bounce of ball, the other team's dirty play, the weather, the presence (or absence) of wives and girlfriends and missing goal line technology).

This is also what can happen when your team fail to win a pitch. The brief was rubbish, the client wasn't listening, the support team let you down, the IT failed, the biscuits were stale.

This hedonistic editing gets you nowhere. Certainly it makes you feel better about what has happened. It allows your bruised ego to find comfort. It does not put you in a position to have a better chance of winning the next pitch. Truth hurts, but truth is necessary for progress.

If you don't want to see the plug for my book, look away now....

For more about truth in business, including Alex Ferguson's Wayne Rooney Truth Turning Point my new book Tell the Truth is available now.

First published here on Sue Unerman's blog.

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