Inspired by football teams

We’re back, and it feels great! I’m of course talking about the European Championship. Streets are turning orange, pubs are filling up with supporters and we can’t stop talking about Depay’s headband or that incredible goal by Weghorst. You might wonder why I’m writing a blog about the Dutch national team. That’s because the principles and tactics in football are also crucial for organizations that want to remain successful in the rapidly changing context. The parallels between sports and business offer valuable lessons for us all. In this blog, I’ll tell you more about it.


A vision as the foundation

We’ve heard our coach, Ronald Koeman, say it many times: “The participation of the Dutch national team in the European Championship is only successful if we win.” In other words, winning the tournament is the vision of the Oranje football team. A vision is the dot on the horizon that you want to achieve and describes what success looks like for teams or an organization. At Stay Future Proof, we call this the Golden Medal Moment because a vision is an ideal picture of the future. It is an inspiring image for everyone who works towards the vision.


Imagine if your Gold Medal Moment was winning the Olympics. If you close your eyes, you see yourself standing on the podium, kissing the gold medal while hearing the Dutch national anthem. This image makes it easier for you to make daily choices. This way you can easily say no to the offered beer or jump out of bed more quickly to start training. Everything for your Gold Medal Moment. This also works for organizations.


The power of a good leader

The national coach plays a crucial role as a leader within the Dutch national team. He must communicate the vision in an inspiring way. This principle is just as important in business. A vision only has value if it is not only discussed in the boardroom, but is communicated to the entire organization. It is important that all employees understand the vision and know how they contribute to achieving it.


Translating a vision to the organization is one of the specialties of Stay Future Proof. We use vision boards, vision films, employee booklets and visual strategy books to communicate the vision effectively. By visually developing the vision, we ensure that everyone within the organization understands it and can work with it.


The road to success

After the vision for a football team has been defined and communicated to the team, it is time to determine the strategy. Because how do you ensure that you actually realize the vision you have drawn up? Tactics are devised, scenario planning is carried out and strategic adjustments to the lineup are made.


In business, this process is similar but involves defining strategic pillars. Where does your organization focus its efforts? Which choices do you make, and more importantly, which choices do you not make? Establishing these strategic pillars helps direct the organization’s resources and efforts towards what truly matters for achieving the vision.


Pick yourself up

The match against Austria is a perfect example of how setbacks can occur on the path to realizing a vision. The Dutch national team not only played poorly against Austria but also faced the consequences of a flawed strategic lineup. There was no time to dwell on their defeat, as the next match was just around the corner. So, what did the coach and the team do? They analyzed their performance, determined a new lineup and most importantly, they didn’t give up and worked together as a team to achieve another victory.


In the business world, the importance of adaptability is just as significant. Due to constant contextual changes such as new customer needs and technological developments, the road to realizing a vision will not be without bumps. However, the power of a good vision is that it remains the constant factor. The strategy can be adjusted. That’s why it’s crucial to regularly review and refine your strategy to stay on course.


Get started with your Gold Medal Moment

There are many similarities between the Dutch national team and the business world. In both cases, having a clear vision and a well-thought-out strategy is crucial. Just as Oranje bounced back after a setback, adaptability is essential for organizations in the dynamic world we live in.


At Stay Future Proof, we excel at forming visions and translating them into actionable strategies for organizations. Curious about how we can help your organization? Let’s grab a coffee and discuss it. Together, we can work towards achieving your Golden Medal Moment, just as the Dutch national team strives to win the European Championship.



about the author
Carolijn Coolen
Thanks for reading, I hope you’ve gained some valuable insights from the article! I’m Carolijn Coolen, Strategy Designer at Stay Future Proof. Want to learn all about strategy, innovation and transformation? Reach out and let’s talk!
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