This week marks the official kickoff of the 20th FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Every four years, the event captures the interest of the world, and occasionally whole countries will drop what they're doing to root for eleven of their citizens running on a field on the other side of the world.
The power of the World Cup to bring people of all ages and cultures together holds several significant lessons for business leaders. Soccer is a sport that requires excellent coordination, communication and the right mix of individual skills to reach success, three things that all business leaders should be striving for.
Each country has their own unique style of play, with inherent strengths and weaknesses. Spain's national team is known for their "tiki-taka" style, based on short, quick passes that move the ball up the field. The strategy brought them to victory in the 2010 World Cup, as well as the latest European championship.
The essence of their style is the combination of creativity, action and innovation. Spain's unique style gains them the attention and respect of their fans, who know that their matches will always be exciting and innovative.
Of course, creativity isn't effective until you've put in the hard work that allows you to succeed with new ideas. Like managers, the members of the Spanish national team must be constantly take actions to improve their skills and eliminate weak points. When confronted with a difficult opponent, adjustments to style of play must be made, orchestrated by strong leaders who know the strengths and weaknesses of their team.
When creativity and action are combined, it results in innovation that helps reach the goal line. In the World Cup, just like the business world, the team that prevails is the one that can adapt to unexpected problems.
A business management consultant can help to turn your middling team into an international contender. In 2008, Spain brought in current manager Vicente del Bosque, who led the team to victory in two years. The ability to bring in perspective that operates outside of organizational politics can provide the impetus needed to bring home the gold.