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July 11, 2014

2014 World Cup: Lessons for Success

Business

Jeff Cochran

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The World Cup is the largest sporting event on the planet and has been dominating conversation for the past few weeks. The event has drawn soccer teams (football teams in the rest of the world) together from all over the world to determine which country has the best team. However, we can learn more from the World Cup than which soccer team is the best. There are three important business lessons to be found in this year’s World Cup.

1. Embrace change: FIFA, the organization responsible for the World Cup, managed to incorporate the use of technology in a way that was not possible in previous Cups and increased fan involvement on a tremendous scale. By utilizing mobile technology to promote the games, FIFA was able to get the greatest access to the largest number of fans. The number of attendees who took and sent selfies and cell phone pictures was higher than in any other sporting event, and Facebook and Twitter were constantly buzzing with status updates and comments about the games.

FIFA was able to encourage this by embracing the use of mobile technology and social media. If companies learn to embrace changes in technology and changes in culture, they too can raise awareness of their products and develop a loyal customer base.

2. Learn effective teamwork: Soccer is a team sport, and like any team sport it requires excellent collaboration and communications skills between players. Teams in the World Cup this year boasted some of the most famous and skilled players in the world, and yet those teams fell to less skilled players who were able to work together more effectively.

Businesses need all of their employees working together to become successful. If a few employees are hardworking and extremely productive, their efforts might be cancelled out by other employees who tend to slack off. Successful business requires communication at all levels and between all employees as well as hardworking and dedicated employees who know their jobs and do them well.

3. Build community: In addition to collaborating to become an effective work force, employees should enjoy working together. The World Cup drew together fans from all types of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds and made them into one community, bound by one common interest. USA fans who had never met each other cheered and celebrated together with every victory, and groaned and comforted one another with every defeat.

Successful businesses like Google, Apple, and Pixar take great strides to create a sense of community among their employees. Individual workspace decoration is encouraged, video games and board games are available at breaks, and ideas are welcomed from even the newest employees. Making work a place where employees feel comfortable and happy is a great way to create a more successful business.

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