Play It Safe or Innovate? Halfway through the new season, a renowned UK football team was underperforming. The team ownership and CEO wanted to take a more objective view in determining how a change of manager might affect long-term team performance.
Hiring a head coach or general manager is one of the most important decisions a club can make, and the club wanted to help avoid replicating previous “safe” decisions which would only impact results in the short-term.
Confident in their players, the club wanted to find a manager who could avoid relegation, and eventually guide the club to promotion within constraints of budget, recruitment plan, and playing philosophy
Groundbreaking Analytics Supportive of Speed
Kitman Labs began working with the CEO and Director of Football to gain an understanding of the key characteristics which the team believed a manager needed to be successful at their unique club. Together, the teams launched an analytics-based search for a new manager.
The Kitman Labs team ran analysis across multiple leagues globally to identify an initial list of managers who would not only fit the philosophical approach required, but also those who were high-caliber candidates who consistently had a positive impact on the performance of the clubs they had previously led.
The time savings of the analysis were significant, as the team could more quickly see the managers they didn’t want.
The club identified a short list of 10-15 candidates, all of whom were interviewed with the inclusion of questions designed by Kitman Labs Performance Experts to elicit an objective and consistent means of assessment. Topics covered everything from style of play to tenure to consistency.
The entire process was complete within three weeks, from the club’s initial request to assess possible replacements, to the formal selection of a new manager.
“Without Kitman Labs’ help, we would have been sucked into a poor, short-term manager decision.”
– Team CEO
The story from this European football club reflects Kitman Labs’ deeply held view of the right role of analytics: supporting organizations in their objective decision-making by providing insights they can use to multiply their own experience and unique insights. A thoughtful filtering methodology eliminated from the pool of possible managers those who were relatively higher ranked, but less of a cultural fit.
Kitman Labs continues to further refine its analytics framework to manager selection, and recently completed a process from initial request to short list of candidates within 24 hours.
Winning Path Back to the Top
After hiring the new manager, and without significant changes to players or principles of play, the team embarked on an unbeaten run from the relegation zone to their league’s top 5, resulting in significant commercial benefits.
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