By Adam Oldfield, Head of Sales & Account Management at Phoebus Software Limited

As the nation is gripped by the current sporting spoils on offer, I couldn’t help but draw some parallels not only with the European Championships but Wimbledon. The business comparisons when I started to look appeared never ending…

For those of you that read my last missive I talked about financial institutions racing towards the digital revolution. In doing so we discussed how important it is, not only to think about the customers of tomorrow but, just as importantly, those of today. It is important for all of us to recognise the behaviours and traits of the different groups and embrace the concept of how we deliver for all as we move forward.

In the sporting parlance, and especially prevalent at the Euros, we can see teams seeking to get the right blend of today’s players with the upcoming younger players of tomorrow to fulfil the team’s own sporting dreams. In business, and in sport, one person’s ideal mix and blend is not necessarily that of another. Equally, how one leader (perhaps a football manager) or another (a business leader) gets the most out of their own respective mix also goes a long way towards how the team and the manager perform in the short and longer term. While the pitch and the boardroom may be different, the principles are the same and much of it is around motivations of team members and customers, the ability to react quickly and the partners that support you to do that.

The other adage I’m reminded of here is where you play the game. How many times have we heard of the best player or team on paper but which then don’t perform on the pitch? It is the same in the boardroom – a firm may have a clearly thought-out plan or operating model in theory, but it has to translate into action. The clear point for both is that neither the game or player is played on paper but in the real world and it has to be able to perform.

What is however an absolutely true fact in life and sport, is that those who have the best team are nearly always the most successful.  The “best team” is not only those immediately visible, but the team in the broadest context, in terms of backroom, support and partners.  Those with such a team, all of whom buy into the vision and plan, are usually successful, not only as a one off but also in the longer term.

In terms of vision, the smart teams are those who keep an eye on future developments and alter their style of play in anticipation of this. In football, different pitch materials, different ball composition and not to mention VAR has affected the game significantly over the years – and that’s before we look at different styles of play needed to account for the strengths and weaknesses of different opposing teams.  In financial services it is the move to digital, to instant access, customer-managed accounts and self-servicing that is disrupting our field of play while also providing the greatest opportunities for differentiation and to get ahead of the competition.

As financial institutions consider the way forward, it is important to consider the how and the who you involve along the journey. What complimentary skills do you require to augment your own? This will ultimately dictate not only how successful your plans are but also how adaptive your team can be.

As we all know, there are challenges, bumps, injuries, aces and full changes of direction required regularly; it is the most aligned and collaborative teams that will stay the course. Be sure to pick those teams and partners carefully and enjoy the sporting – or digital – drama unfolding.