A comment heard talking about Premier League performers – He needs to go and stand on the side-lines of a few Sunday morning games and experience, really experience, commitment. 

To this can be added; the joys of being involved in your own game, own business, and making the effort to manage as well as play to enjoy delivering a result. 

Having an impact with your product and services supporting other people’s desires and dreams.  

Do Sunday League games equate to MSME sector? Definitely not because, while there are some notable examples of players rising from Sunday Leagues to take on high profile roles in the professional game, the clubs are there for the joy of playing and the thrill of the game. As with all small enterprises, the financial travails cut in too often – just ask around on how many of us are struggling. Larger companies, companies with reputable brands built over a generation or more, are now struggling with how to keep going and evolve, change, the business model for whatever name 2021 is to be given

How many of us are feeling emotional and physical issues?

As we continue to make cash flow happen for ourselves and those who work with us and for us? #excludeduk, https://www.excludeduk.org/excluded-uk-an-inclusive-alliance-for-the-excluded , has highlighted the situation faced by so many as the UK Government seems to have not realised from the tiny acorn, does the mighty oak grow. 

Back to football because there is another question: Do we now have a new status quo in English football where making money has destroyed the very ethos, style, culture, that produced the success in the first place?  

Style. Entertainment, Added Value. Keeping the Customer Engaged? 

Analogies to our businesses?

Clearly the business to customer elements have changed dramatically with the channels going digital and the delivery systems looking to next day white vans whilst robots and drones are investigated.  

Some would say the future of football as a business looks assured, although the way it is managed is up for debate because we see the cartels at all levels challenged by fresh thinking. The Premiership may look assured but what of the wider professional game? How about equating this with the corporates controlling platforms whilst the rest of us look at how we work and how we search for purposeful business?

For example, how long before Fantasy Football, https://fantasy.premierleague.com/prizes , takes hold far stronger than presently under coronavirus?
Statistics feed statistics and, like the futures market, is about trading trades. How long before fantasy leagues create greater revenue than the hassle of getting to the ground devoid of atmosphere and full of potential public health risk? 

This is where all the analysis of trends and patterns comes to mean very little when a disrupter, a creative thinker emerges and shifts the game. In football, we moved from 2-3-5 to 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 and now combinations of 3-5-1-1, 4-1-2-1-2………the only limitation 10 outfield players. Do you have a star manager? Perhaps able to call on an individual with the talent to work seeming miracles with the present budget and organisational set up. But? 

Do you need some deeper wisdom?

A Cruyff? A Sebes (have a quick internet search if want to take a tangent after reading this) to ‘invert the pyramid’ in the business to business, business to customer and, seemingly increasingly, customer to business flows?

Maybe an Andrea Pirlo (check his autobiography – I think Therefore I Play) – ‘I’m a bit of a wandering gypsy on the pitch. A midfielder continually on the look out for an unspoilt corner where I can move freely just for a moment, without suffocating markers’

  • In your market – What next? 
  • What tools do you have available to strategize and re-strategize? 
  • Fresh perspectives required? 
  • Do you need to bring in a midfielder to find an unspoilt corner? 
  • Provision to your management team to health-check and offer that fresh perspective? 

McKinsey, https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/these-eight-charts-show-how-covid-19-has-changed-b2b-sales-forever?cid=other-eml-alt-mip-mck&hdpid=736cbf33-e0b2-4206-bd04-5a9115f6b398&hctky=12289592&hlkid=f0ee23529b22415f970ba28f28a4f252 ,have continued to bring forward excellent data showing the changing nature of B2B interactions. The changing nature and relative power of the buyer has changed. Is changing. 

What next in terms of new markets for your present products and services? 

New products and services built from your skills and knowledge base? 

We are hearing endless trend and pattern analysis, is this enough?

Last month people were going back to their ‘new normal’ now we are experiencing the 2021 normal early? What next? https://www.bbc.com/news/business-54056044 raises the question ‘Are UK companies strong enough for coronavirus?’ noting some of the research now happening regarding antibody depletions, 

  • Are we measuring the right things in the right ways? 
  • What can we do as a company? 

The latest element from the BBC https://www.bbc.com/news/business-54056046 highlights size is no saviour of a firm. King’s College, London, have brought forward research stating ‘many of the UK’s 5.86million small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are in a precarious position’ https://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/16.6-million-uk-jobs-at-risk-if-entrepreneurs-and-smes-cannot-sustain-their-businesses  

Clearly, any number of these elements are external factors we feel are not in out control. This brings us to the questions:

  • What can I measure and manage?
  • What can I influence and how?
  • How do I put aside those elements I can not manage or influence to focus? 
  • Do you need more in terms of strategizing, planning and delivering in turbulent times? 

We all answer – Yes, a resounding yes. Let us network since there are people who have complementary skills and will offer fresh ideas, thinking and approaches to deliver on management, influence and cutting those elements we can leave aside.