We’ve just posted an update on training and have an example of how we use some software to make easy to follow video user guides. You can find the new page here – or watch the sample system[read more]

For the last few months, I’ve been working with a brilliant coffee vending business near Gatwick. In terms of culture and atmosphere, it’s quite a contrast to BOTH other venture capital[read more]

The results of Google’s “Project Oxygen” have been reported all over the place in the last week. The London Evening Standard and the New York Times both carried this, follow the[read more]

Should we invest in developing our technology teams the same way sports management does?

Premier league IT management?

As the new football (soccer) season kicks off, it’s amazing to hear all the talk of new, expensively bought in talent. Of who is going to make space for the new stars, who will stay but rarely play and who might be good enough to keep them out of the team. Which coaches are involved and how the “backroom” staff have been working over the summer to make sure the team are ready.

“My” team are only rarely a premiership team. We mostly play in The Championship, we have new owners, a new (ex-international ((2nd division)) manager) and have managed to keep some of our best players (our ex manager tried to buy several of them). But we also have some great youth talent coming through – this has become a real asset for the club and on the opening day of the season one of our new 17 year olds scored our opening goal in an opening season win.

It all got me thinking.

  • Talent spotting of raw and developing young players,
  • Defensive, forward and goalkeeping coaches
  • Physios and dieticians to keep them fit.
  • Thinking about each weeks team, given the opposition, other games.

Aren’t there parallels for us?

How much effort do we put into making sure our team and our “players” are spotted, hired, developed and played optimally? How much more could we get out of them if we did?

Yet we have many of  the mechanisms there already, though we use them poorly:

  • £1,000 hiring incentives to bring in the talent they know – when we pay profesional  recruiters 20 x that for people they hire off the street.
  • Experienced senior staff who could coach and mentor in their specialisation – but get neither the time nor incentive to do anything about it.
  • Pay structures that neither reflect the market nor reward those who get us “promoted to the premiership”.

Perhaps we should try some similar strategies to football clubs and see what happens?