Monday, December 17, 2012

The God Of Small Things

Dave Brailsford is, perhaps, the best manager in the world. He is to sport what Steve Jobs was to technology, a totally focused and driven individual with vision, but obsessed with detail.

He is a contemporary and grew up a few miles away from me in North Wales, although I have unfortunately never met him. But there is no one I admire more. I was delighted that in the best year British sport has ever seen, he was recognised as coach of the year, and I'm not joking when I hope that he will one day coach our national rugby team.

The reason is simple - managing and coaching are not about a vertical focus, but are based on a discipline and an adherence to a philosophy and to endless gritty detail.

When asked to analyse his success, Brailsford is said to have pointed to hundreds of thousands of small things. Such as the adoption of streamlined swimming suits that actually proved counter productive until someone pointed out that they should be wet...

Live television runs on the back of hundreds of people doing their jobs perfectly, the Gods of Small Things are in operation, and it is something those of us working in the cloud will be familiar with. There is nowhere to hide and there are no excuses.

A single failure is hopelessly and globally exposed, but delivery comes from doing thousands and thousands of things well, and on improving on them endlessly.