Why watching the World Cup is a lesson in intranet best practice

Convincing your boss that you need to leave early to catch a World Cup football game can be problematic, but I think that watching the beautiful game can be seen as a lesson in Intranet best practice.

Football fans cheering in a bar

Let's take the group stages of the World Cup: The early exit of defending champions Spain, along with Italy and England (who haven't been knocked out in the group stages for more than 50 years) holds an important lesson for enterprises.

Past success is no guarantee of future success. It's how you perform today that is important.

We have seen once mighty organizations fail to maintain their status and either shrink substantially, or fail completely, when they do not keep achieving by evolving to their competitive environment.

If we look at the young upstarts of the World Cup, the Costa Rica's, the USA's and the Belgium's, what can we learn? They work together as a team to achieve results, they do not rely on a few stars – it is their co-ordination and collaboration that has delivered their wins. These teams operate as a cohesive unit, each member knowing what is expected of them, while also supporting one another to achieve success. If getting a team of 11 or a squad of 23 to work in unison is difficult, then it's no wonder organizations with thousands, or tens of thousands of team members need help to make them the best possible team to achieve outstanding results.

So here are five ways that a good SharePoint Intranet is like a great World Cup football team:

  1. Ensure everyone knows each other, what they do best, and how they can help. You need to know who your team-mates are and what they are great at so you can pass the 'project ball' to the right people to take you forward, faster. An effective people directory is the foundation of this.
  2. Collaboration requires that everyone involved knows the 'game-plan.' Use SharePoint sites functionality to develop your project 'game-plan' and then ensure everyone knows their part in making it happen in a timely way.
  3. Move and adapt quickly to changes outside your control; you need to be able to react to your competitor's actions quickly and in a coordinated way to neutralize their threat and exploit new weaknesses that may appear. A flexible collaboration solution that supports changes and adaption is a pre-requisite for this.
  4. Learn from what you have done before – what worked and what didn't work, to make you better today. SharePoint Intranet's make past knowledge more accessible so new and existing team members don't have to re-learn past mistakes, they can simply take the next step forward for the organization each time.
  5. Make calls, communicate and act in unison in real-time. It seems so logical that on the football pitch that the team talks and shouts to each other as they play. But does your enterprise Intranet allow you to communicate real-time? With the Yammer enterprise social network system fully and deeply integrated into a SharePoint 2013 solution you can facilitate real-time conversations and collaboration.

An effective enterprise Intranet is a tool for success, because just like with football, the winners in the modern knowledge economy are those who work together better, not simply those who have won before.

I am off to watch Belgium vs the USA now, I hope your boss understands it's an important learning experience too.

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