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3 Things Your Business Can Learn from The World Cup

The World Cup: The premier tournament of the “beautiful game”. Every four years, thirty-two qualified nations come together to compete for the title of world champion, with this year’s tournament being hosted in Russia. These are exciting times, in particular for a Swede, when the national team finally qualified for the tournament in an extraordinary fashion after 12 years of absence. For those who do not recall, Sweden is the reason why Italy is not participating in the world cup this year. This is a rare occurrence as Italy has not missed a World Cup since 1958. Now that I’ve bragged about my team and that’s out of the way, let’s get back on track. Given the unpredictable nature of this year’s tournament, I thought I would share a few World Cup metaphors from a business standpoint. Here are some of my favorites:

It all comes down to Teamwork

I would be remiss if I did not mention teamwork. This is the cornerstone of success in both business and soccer. As I have previously written about bringing the team together, Seal understands the importance of working together to achieve our goals and what it takes to create that environment. It can be sobering to realize that this is not something that occurs organically.

An example of this can be seen in the World Cup with some of the shocking results of the group stage, particularly on the performance of Argentina. Going into the tournament, Argentina was one of the favorites to advance to the final stages. This was due to the star-studded lineup the nation brought to the tournament, with Lionel Messi (arguably the best player in the world) at the forefront. As it currently stands, Argentina is at the bottom of their group. This is the lesson learned. Teamwork requires planning, preparation, and execution. For Argentina, a team is only as good as the players, but sometimes this is simply not enough. Through effective teamwork, as we practice at Seal, a team becomes greater than the sum of its parts, and success is a byproduct of that.

Visibility into the Competition

Having a good grasp of the strategies of the competition is imperative to successful outcomes. It is evident that teams in this tournament have not done their due diligence in understanding their competition. For example, the lack of visibility leads to current world champions, Germany, having a rude awakening in their opening game against Mexico. Statistically speaking, Germany should have won this game by good margin. They are ranked as the #1 team in the world according to FIFA rankings, whereas Mexico is ranked #15. The tactical error leads to yet another shocking result, causing more than a few World Cup predictor brackets to be unequivocally busted. What we deduce from this result is that it not all about gathering the information, it is how it’s being leveraged.

Leveraging information, or data rather is something in which Seal excels. We enable our customers to gather all their data, wherever it might be, and organize it. Then, using our AI & Machine Learning technologies, customers can extract key information and leverage it to make informed business decisions, thus creating smarter organizations. This is what it truly means to be prepared for it all. Unlike our European counterparts in this example, Seal customers have the ability to leverage the information that is available to them, avoiding any shocking results that can be detrimental to any business.

The Goalkeeper

One of the key aspects to Sweden’s World Cup qualifying team is its defense. As mentioned above, Italy could not break through the Swedish defenses to score and, therefore did not qualify. Having a strong defense can go a long way, evidently all the way to the World Cup. Similarly, have a strong defense and risk management plan can go a long way in business. This is the best way to prepare when unforeseen events occur, to avoid getting caught off-guard as Sweden did in their most recent game against Germany. At Seal, we help our customers with their defense in the form of regulatory compliance. The fines for non-compliance are significant, and when regulations are constantly changing, it is important not only be compliant but incident ready when they occur. In these World Cup games, the goalkeeper is the last line of defense and the one who can prevent a loss or negative outcome from a last-minute incident such as a goal. In compliance, Seal is the goalkeeper that prevents negative and costly results.

In the Seal Blog, there are no shortages of analogies like these. I would like to invite you to check out some of our other blogs listed below:

Fly Fishing for Salmon and B2B Sales – An Analogy for Success

Today’s General Counsel Superheroes

Securing the Inside Track: How Procurement Can Get Ahead of Brexit

EDIT: Argentina has qualified to the knockout stage after their 2-1 win against Nigeria. Up until this game, Argentina was 4th in their group.