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Ferguson's Formula

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Old
09-10-2013, 02:38 PM
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Model62
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Ferguson's Formula

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Some call him the greatest coach in history. Before retiring in May 2013, Sir Alex Ferguson spent 26 seasons as the manager of Manchester United, the English football (soccer) club that ranks among the most successful and valuable franchises in sports. During that time the club won 13 English league titles along with 25 other domestic and international trophies—giving him an overall haul nearly double that of the next-most-successful English club manager. And Ferguson was far more than a coach. He played a central role in the United organization, managing not just the first team but the entire club. “Steve Jobs was Apple; Sir Alex Ferguson is Manchester United,” says the club’s former chief executive David Gill.

In 2012 Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse had a unique opportunity to examine Ferguson’s management approach and developed an HBS case study around it. Now she and Ferguson have collaborated on an analysis of his enormously successful methods.
Read the whole thing (if you dare -- it's long!), but I've highlighted the eight lessons:

Quote:
1. Start with the Foundation
2. Dare to Rebuild Your Team
3. Set High Standards—and Hold Everyone to Them
4. Never, Ever Cede Control
5. Match the Message to the Moment
6. Prepare to Win
7. Rely on the Power of Observation
8. Never Stop Adapting
Some of those are specifically about coaching rather than General Managing (#4 and #5), but change a few terms and Dean Lombardi could have written this. If Lombardi finds just a fraction of the success Ferguson did, he'll have built a dynasty.

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Old
09-10-2013, 02:57 PM
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mbar
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Good points but I question how much you can take away from success in a league like the EPL (where Man U can and did outspend its rivals) and a salary cap league like the NHL.

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09-10-2013, 03:35 PM
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kingsfan
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As much as I support DL (I was drinking the Kool-Aid since the Sharks days) even I think it'd be best to see if the Kings can get back to the 3rd round or the finals again before starting to compare him to a guy like Ferguson, or a Scotty Bowman. DL's done great the past two years for sure, but two years pales in comparison to what the elite have done.

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09-10-2013, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by kingsfan View Post
As much as I support DL (I was drinking the Kool-Aid since the Sharks days) even I think it'd be best to see if the Kings can get back to the 3rd round or the finals again before starting to compare him to a guy like Ferguson, or a Scotty Bowman. DL's done great the past two years for sure, but two years pales in comparison to what the elite have done.
Well I hope I didn't imply Lombardi was the equal of Ferguson (or Bowman or Lamoriello), in terms of success, or belongs in that conversation.

I'm more inclined to the idea that Lombardi borrowed from Ferguson (and those others); he's an eager student.

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09-10-2013, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mbar View Post
Good points but I question how much you can take away from success in a league like the EPL (where Man U can and did outspend its rivals) and a salary cap league like the NHL.
I saw some striking similarities, especially in the "Foundation" discussion: build a strong talent development system (check); get young and stay young (check); let players grow together to promote camaraderie and spirit (check); move players when they still have value to make room for youth (check (Jack Johnson)); keep a few key vets around for continuity of culture (check); be able to adapt (check (for Lombardi it's cap flexibility)).

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09-10-2013, 05:13 PM
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kingsfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Model62 View Post
Well I hope I didn't imply Lombardi was the equal of Ferguson (or Bowman or Lamoriello), in terms of success, or belongs in that conversation.

I'm more inclined to the idea that Lombardi borrowed from Ferguson (and those others); he's an eager student.
Nope, and didn't mean to imply that you implied either

Good read, and here's hoping DL can get to those lofty standards eventually.

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