From Champions in May to Chumps in November: could some planning have prevented Chelsea's fall?

Wednesday 11th November, 2015

A confession: I am completely obsessed and passionate about the English Premier League, OBSESSED! Even six years of living in Melbourne has not cured this Brit. To my mind, the Premier League is a thing of utter beauty.

What does football (yes Aussies, football) have to do with Evolve Intelligence you’re probably wondering? Plenty…. hear me out.

I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the work we do, specifically succession planning, and how the lack of it is contributing to the fall of Chelsea – who went from last year’s League champions to suffering seven defeats in 12 matches; more than the whole of last season’s 38 games.

placeholderSuccession planning is one of the key differentiating services we provide at Evolve Intelligence. We define it as the continuous process of identifying and evaluating external talent and benchmarking them against internal teams and key critical roles. Essentially, it’s about being strategic and proactive when it comes to your people plans, ensuring you have the talent you need to succeed in the direction your business is moving. The three key words are continuous, strategic and proactive. Just as you can’t win football solely by defending, when it comes to talent, you need a plan of attack.

In the 2013 - 2014 season, Chelsea absolutely walked the title, steamrolling all opposition in their wake in one of the most dominant seasons in recent memory. Jose Mourinho (Chelsea’s manager) had a plan and crafted a team of superstars into an imperious footballing unit.This season has been catastrophic. What’s happened? Nothing. And that’s one of the problems. Chelsea rested on its laurels. They didn’t invest in their side, making no big name signings. In contrast, Manchester City invested £100M in two new players and guess who is on top of the League?

The takeaway from this? Be proactive when it comes to talent. The competition is moving, so the playing field is never the same. Steamrolling last year does not mean that you will this year. What are your company’s strategic goals? Do you have the right leaders to help your business reach those goals? What are your competitors doing? Chelsea did nothing. Can you afford to do the same?

Just for the record, I support Norwich City, so I can’t be accused of big club bias!


Ricky Davison is a Client Solutions Director at Evolve Intelligence. Evolve provides our clients with the intelligence they need to plan ahead. To find out more about our succession planning solutions, please contact us.