Different news pages, same story

– Posted by Pippa Griffin

One glance across from the sports to the business pages recently and you could be forgiven for thinking you’re reading the same story.  Check out these headlines:

On handling the pressure…

Clarke_Telegraph_Pressure Moyes_Guardian_Pressure

On determination to succeed…

Moyes_BBC-determination Clarke_Indy
On what now?

Moyes_Inside_hole      Clarke_Money_hole

Manchester United is, of course, like Tesco – big business.  They both have shareholders to answer to, key players who need to deliver great performances time and time again and a global network of ‘customers’ and brand ambassadors whose loyalty is key to their profitability and survival.   So perhaps in Man U’s new team manager recruitment drive, they will more carefully consider the qualities required for strong leadership and business success.  In particular:

  • A comprehensive recruitment process conducted with due diligence – rather than one candidate ‘handpicked’ by a dominant force with shoes too big to fill
  • A smooth handover where existing ‘back room’ talent is harnessed to maintain consistency and trust rather than removed at the first opportunity
  • A leader who inspires people to want to do their best – leading by example in the way they talk and act

We know from our work with Specsavers that building great teams and strengthening leadership performance is no easy task.  It takes understanding of the change required, the benefits it could bring and a commitment – by ALL – to doing things differently.

It strikes us that there are common issues at both Manchester United and Tesco – both business supertankers who are in need of a serious turnaround with:

  • Question marks around leadership
  • A need to rebuild their once-great teams
  • The opportunity to reduce their risk exposures – such as overreliance on one dominant figure, or being on the back-foot when it comes to outplaying or outwitting the competition
  • A new direction for spending and pricing strategies – to spend or not to spend? To slash prices or not?

Recent headlines suggest that both businesses are facing significant change – in the boardroom, in the changing room, in the aisles, on the pitch, on the shelves or through the transfer windows.

News reports suggest that Tesco’s Bank might be its secret weapon to survival.  But how deep are the Glazer family’s pockets?  We wish them luck. Let’s hope they both achieve their goals (sorry, couldn’t resist!)