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Grass roots sport returns with a few business pointers

Apr 12, 2021 1:27:47 PM Neil Cornish Digital Strategy, Ecosystem, Value Proposition, Technology Outlook, Business Agility

It is great to have grass roots football back again. For many still at school it is what they look forward to each weekend. Playing with their friends, hopefully scoring a goal and winning the match. And just like the professionals, they want to go through to the next round of the cup or climb the league and get promoted. The emotional roller coaster of a 7-4 win this weekend was evident throughout my son’s team, during a game that was played in all four of our British seasons over 90 minutes. As linesman, I was pleased to still have a luke-warm coffee in a flask, left over from the morning’s golf.


Despite the weather and desire to start playing, the 2-minute silence for The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was respectfully observed. Regular readers of the blog will know I have fond memories of meeting him and the benefits gained from the D of E Award Scheme, he founded back in the 1950’s. As part of the scheme I took my Football Association coaching badges and have continued to coach during the past 45 years. How a 1950s award scheme’s principles are still important today (techdata.com)


Over that time a few things have changed – the ball, the players fitness and the quality of the pitches spring to mind – but the essence of the game is still the same. The basic concepts of pass and move, remembering the ball travels faster than any player and that it is a team sport, haven’t changed.


As many coaches are proving at the highest level of the game, it is not about being able to play it in order to coach it. It’s about being able to see it, understand and explain it to players, that becomes important. Watching grass roots football return, it is easy to see the difference that 6 months off, has made to some of the younger players. Both in forgetting basic positioning and simple tasks like taking a throw-in. And confidence is easily dented as the things they could do take time to come back and their fitness levels need to be rebuilt.


The rebuilding of confidence and realigning to the new normal will also be a challenge for many businesses. Individual employees will have different views based on their experience over the last year and their level of interaction with colleagues and customers. Previous links may have been lost whilst new contacts and bonds will have been made.


Some companies may have changed their business model during the pandemic and will want to continue with it. Others may be desperate to get back to previous working methods, re-establishing contacts, face to face selling and routes to market. Taking time to assess what worked and understanding if it could still work, will be important.


Keeping people who have built up an understanding of what worked over the past 12 months will be a significant part of the strategy for the next 12. And the timescales will be that short. We have seen how quickly businesses have pivoted and found different ways of doing business. The pandemic has created a new mindset in the board room and strategy life cycles are getting shorter.


But this is analogous to the players getting fitter, the ball moving faster (especially in the wet!) and the pitches improving. The basic business concepts are still the same. Finding a value proposition that someone wants to buy and giving them the reason to buy it from you. Then, building a strategy and a team to deliver against the value proposition. These are still key, the difference is that the opposition is fitter, moves faster and the pace of technology adoption can provide a winning advantage.


The Tech Data Value Proposition Workshops will ask questions about your business to try and establish what your customers buy and why they buy it from you. And from there what else could you sell to them, who else could you partner with in our Ecosystem Programme, how could you develop more unique value? And how do you deliver that message credibly, to both customers and stakeholders?


If you think your business or new venture could benefit from such a discussion or workshop, to help establish a value proposition and supporting strategy, then please get in touch. We look forward to working with you.


Neil Cornish

Written by Neil Cornish

Neil Cornish is Business Development Manager at Tech Data UK


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