As the FIFA World Cup is underway, I was inspired to blog on the importance of the team manager (head coach). He has at his disposal a very talented set of individuals, which have proven records of delivering results in their respective teams/leagues. That being said, his job in selecting his starting lineup, his substitutes and who would play in what position is an extremely tough one. This job ultimately dictates the results that the team can generate and what they will achieve.
The parallels between the team manager and managers in the corporate world are not far fetched. Yet I find from my limited corporate experience so far, that the aspect of talent placement is not one that is very actively and effectively managed. In many instances, managers adapt a passive approach, relying on external events to self-drive the configuration. While driven individuals eventually find themselves where they need to be eventually, a number of individuals might not get the chance to shine in the team and will become disengaged, leading to lowered overall performance .
The process of positioning talent is not an exact science. However managers need to give each team member the required chances as well as honest and objective feedback. They should also have the required guts to make changes as required, when they feel things are not going the right way, neither for the individual nor the position. Finally this process is a very active and dynamic one that needs constant attention. If performed correctly, it can yield high performing teams that are not only great to work in, but also achieve at an entirely new level.