Currie Article Review – Ferguson’s Formula

Currie Management Consultants, Inc. is recommending Ferguson’s Formula for all dealers and distributors of industrial equipment.  This piece, similar to other recommendations we have made, demonstrates business management from the sports perspective.  Most Currie clients are avid sports fans, so I believe you will enjoy this selection.  Below are some of the highlights of the messages that Sir Alex Ferguson brings to us from the Manchester United team and his 26 seasons as the coach.  Along with the highlights, there are some brief notes and analysis.

  1. Start with the Foundation.  This is where Ferguson weighs the short-term gains against the long- term vision.  This reminds us of another great coach (I know you will all remember) who started by saying “gentlemen, this is a football.”
  2. Dare to Rebuild Your Team. What’s notable is the end of this section (the last couple of lines) where Ferguson says “The hardest thing is to let go of a player who has been a great guy—but all the evidence is on the field.   If you see the change, the deterioration, you have to ask yourself…”
  3. Set High Standards—and Hold Everyone to Them. Where have we heard that before??
  4. Never, Ever Cede Control. Think back to Napoleon and the notes from the 2013 Currie Reading List:  “…once the offensive has been assumed, it must be sustained to the last extremity”, Military Maxim IV.
  5. Match the Message to the Moment. This is where Ferguson explains the importance of direct communication.
  6. Prepare to Win. Why is a winning attitude so important?
  7. Rely on the Power of Observation. This section shows some remarkable insight about delegation, people skills and the importance of using intuition.

Never Stop Adapting.  In today’s constantly changing marketplace this skill is critically important.  The growth that many of our clients have been experiencing has forced them to adopt a higher level of flexibility and an increased tolerance for ambiguity.  What happens when business hits a downturn?  We must adapt once again, and then again.  Diversification strategies, always looking for that “problem child”, and managing expenses in line with gross profit are three areas where there is a constant need to be nimble and adjust.

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