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World Cup 2014: A Lesson for Business Leaders

Who knew that the United States could get so wrapped up in World Cup fever? Of course, it helps when the American team did so well, making it into the Round of 16 where they almost managed to escape with a victory against the formidable Belgian team. That final game made goalkeeper Tim Howard a national hero for his record-setting defensive stand against a very talented Belgian scoring squad.

Most of the game’s experts will tell you that the U.S. team should not have made it to the elimination round, that they didn’t have the talent nor the experience to tangle with the big boys of the soccer world.  They were obviously wrong, but the question is: how did the U.S. men manage to exceed the expectations of the sports world?  Preparation and practice.

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world (where most people call it football) except in America. Here, the National Football League, Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association reign supreme.  Despite that, soccer is the third-most popular sport in our country, only behind basketball and baseball, played by 13 million boys and girls, men and women. The American national soccer team has always done well in international competition because the leadership of the organization invested in their team and their players.  They understand that they could only reap what they sowed; if you don’t plan for the long term, you won’t succeed.

As the dog days of summer arrive, it’s a great time for you to ask yourself: what are we investing to make sure we are successful and exceed expectation down the road?  Technology is only one element of business planning, but in today’s world, it’s a big part of the success of the modern business. All too often, we see companies fail because they are penny wise and pound foolish, resisting the need to invest in upgrades and new technology until they finally find themselves falling behind the competition.

There’s a new element to consider, too, when it comes to IT investment: younger workers have grown up in a rich world of technology, with the best gadgets their parents could afford, which means when they are looking for a job, the IT systems in use at the company they are considering joining is a big deal. We’ve heard from many of our clients who have scrambled to upgrade antiquated IT systems because they want to attract younger employees and found themselves losing talented professionals because of their old computers.

If you want to talk about IT upgrades or just explore what’s possible, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m happy to sit down and envision a future that makes you and your business faster, better, and more profitable.

Luis Alvarez

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