The power of anticipation: will your team achieve its (World Cup) goals?

Anticipation in the workplace

michael moran 10EIghty ceoToday’s ‘Tremendous Thursday’ post is by 10Eighty CEO and Founder Michael Moran on Day 1 of the World Cup. He has a passion for helping people maximise their potential and believes everyone should have job satisfaction and a successful career and helps organisations design jobs and career paths that maximise employee engagement. 

Every 4 years it rolls around, the sense that something special could happen… this time, maybe this time. Football fans the world over expect their team to excel expectations and achieve well beyond their FIFA ranking.

And that happens. Remember the sterling performances of Iceland and Wales in Euro 2016? (The less said about England v Iceland match the better).

And now, as we sit on the brink of another World Cup, the anticipation is tangible.

Some top-notch interplay from the lads with 3 Lions On Their Shirt during the friendly with Nigeria last weekend (OK, for the first 45 minutes), the ‘Second XI’ giving a good account of themselves yesterday evening against Costa Rica and a manager with a level-headedness and rapport with his young team not seen for a while. And England anticipates… again!

In the workplace, as well as on the pitch, this kind of positive thinking can help teams to strive for excellence and achieve their goals (literal and metaphorical).

It’s important to plan, consider the consequences of making certain decisions in the future and extend that thinking 4 or 5 steps ahead. This will help your team and your organisation to anticipate things like an interest rate hike, a policy shift on Brexit or a change in strategic direction by the Director.

In a tournament the same principles apply, you research the tactics of your immediate opponents and those you could face in the knockout stages and endeavour to make eventualities for all permutations. (FYI England could face Brazil if they make it to the last 8).

Sometimes events conspire to scupper these plans – a serious injury to a key player or a mystery illness. But if you have anticipated these possibilities, you should have a Plan B, a player with similar skills or a formation change to compensate.

Last night’s match demonstrated that England has more than several Plan Bs on the bench.

Working out the potential pitfalls is useful, but ideally, you want to create opportunities too as this can genuinely add value. The key is preparation. And with the right degree of preparation, your team or your organisation will be ready to make the most of those opportunities when they arise.

To be the best team in town or in the tournament it’s essential to anticipate the future, whether you’re the CEO of a FTSE 500 company, Director of an SME or an international football coach.

This could be Gareth Southgate and his young England squad, but we’re certain 31 other coaches and their teams will have other ideas.

Whoever you’re supporting this summer or whichever team you ‘play’ for, at 10Eighty we hope you enjoy the festival of football over the next month and achieve your team goals too.

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