Business lessons from Forest…

When it comes to football, most of you will know, that i’m a Nottingham Forest supporter.

Now… yesterday, was an FA Cup match. Nottingham Forest (who are currently mid-table in the Championship with a caretaker manager in charge and a string of no-wins in recent form) Vs Arsenal (long term manager who’s won several trophies with the club, sat 6th in the English Premier League).

So, what was the score Bal?

Yep – that’s right… Nottingham Forest 4 – Arsenal 2.

We beat them! – Against all the odds and expectations… we beat them!

Now, there’s various reasons why we beat them… but i’m going to focus on a few, and how businesses can learn from these…

1. Talent Development.

Out of the team, there were 6 players who have come through the academy at Nottingham Forest. That means, the football club have invested in training and developing these young players.

Business Lesson – Invest in your Talent. As Richard Branson always says, your employees, the people working for you, are your biggest asset – Train them well. 

2. Young Players

Seven of the players in the team were under the age of 23… Ben Bereton (18), Jordan Smith (23), Kieran Dowell (20). Joe Worrall (20), to name a few. The average age of the team was younger than the average age of the Arsenal team – yet the manager of Arsenal wanted to field a group of ‘young’ players.

Business Lesson – Bring some young folk into the business, they’ll have fresh and new ideas. Look at various startups (such as Facebook & Snapchat) and their CEO ages… and then there’s the Forbes 30 Under 30. 

3. Goals and Action Plan

The aim of the game was to win. To go out, enjoy and win. How do you win? – well, by scoring more goals! – Eric Lichaj got 2 (of which the second was a wonderful goal), then there were two penalities, from which Ben aged 18 scored and Kieran scored.

Business Lesson – Have some clear and concise goals, with an Action Plan. What do you want to achieve, by when and how. Sounds simple, right? – yet many organisations have goals, though they’re complicated, too many words, unachievable… or not communicated correctly. 

Just to expand on the latter – there was a motivation for Eric to be scoring those goals – his wife promised, if he scores a hat-trick (3 goals in a game), he can have a dog!

Don’t believe me? – watch this…

So, a few simple lessons… from the footballing world… to the business world… train your employees well, bring in some young folk and have clear goals & objectives.

There were obviously other factors, such as being well organized, more passion… and a huge desire to win. We’ll talk about those in another post…


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