Sir Alex Ferguson: Big (football) boots to fill

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So Sir Alex is off. Or Sir Alec depending on what side of the Highlands you’re from.

The news prompted more than one million tweets in under an hour. An insight itself into how powerful social media is when people feel the information has a real impact on their lives. Whether or not it does or not is up to you to decide.

Apart from the tributes for a man who has been an iconic  football manager, the conversation has quickly turned to Ferguson’s replacement.

Sir Alex has shaped and nurtured a football club over 26 years into a global institution. In his leaving statement he described leaving ‘the organisation’ in great shape. And apart from winning dozens of titles and even more trophies he also coached Tony Blair in leadership. He’s also been the subject of a study by Havard Business School – Sir Alex Ferguson: Managing Manchester United.

So how does the Manchester United organisation understand what was it that Sir Alex’s leadership that made them so successful? Apart from reading the study of course.

And how can they continue such effective management and deliver a clear direction for their employees, investors and global fan base?

They could look to replicate Ferguson’s techniques exactly. They could use his legacy as a foundation for the future. They could take their chances with a completely new management arrangement.

Whatever the decision, there will be a transition. A change. And that can be challenging for everyone.

These are questions Able and How work on everyday with clients around the world. We help organisations understand the direction they need to take. And how to enable leadership teams to deliver it.

We support businesses to measure their change capability so they can quickly get better at change. Whoever’s in charge.

We may not have worked with Sir Alex – our hair may not have been dried – but we recognise how leaders can manage change, and the great results that that can bring.

 

William Barkway



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