Sunday 4 July 2010

Formula wins over flair

Does flair win over formula? Somtimes, but I would bet on formula anytime.

Look at the German and Dutch football teams in the World Cup in South Africa as prime example. Both teams are full of formula play and we all know this weekends results [BTW I hope they meet in the final!]. When it comes to the Germans this isn't a freak occurrence, they have made the World Cup finales 11 times in the last 15 times.

The same applies to successful sales and marketing collaboration, its about formula, teamwork, discipline, patience and lack of egos and blaming culture. A game plan that everyone is bought into because it has been decided jointly and all members of the team know their role in that formula.

Of course a little flair and creativity is needed, but that alone will not win consistently. What about vision you say? Vision is more about discipline than flair. Flair are individual moments of genious. And of course the coach is an important element of the success, they ensure the right people are on the bus and on the field, and they all know the game plan and their individual contribution.

Flair alone will never consistently win over formula, without a solid game plan all believe in, discipline and patience to wait for the spaces and chances and true teamwork. Football is called a team sport for a reason, a couple of prima donnas don't make a team.

This principle has been in the majority forgotten among #B2B sales and marketing professionals who are often rowing in different directions [to steal another sports metaphor]. Sales and marketing leaders need to:

- create a game plan together based on the brutal facts
- agree on each members tasks and success measurement
- work as a team for the greater good of the company, measure progress to that goal and re-group if necessary

Another way of looking at it, is the old tried and tested 5 P's of strategy by MINTZBERG, H (1987)

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