4th May 2016

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Football fan
News and Comment from Roy Lilley
I always think sporting metaphors are pretty dull, particularly if you are not that 'into sport'.  

Cycling's Dave Brailsford's 'marginal gains' has been done to death; even Tesco knows 'every little helps' and yer granny will tell you every mickle-makes-a-muckle.
So, I try to avoid them, however... The Tinkerman astounds us all! 
The 'other' Tinkerman is, as football fans know, Claudio Ranieri, formerly of Chelsea FC.  He was accused of 'over-rotating' his squad of players and of bizarre tactical changes; hence the name Tinkerman.
His four seasons at Chelsea saw them improve their points total season on season; finishing runners up in 2003 and reaching the UEFA Champions League semi-final the same season.
He was sacked by new Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich in May 2004.
The core of the Chelsea team which won two Premier League titles under the popular manager Mourinho, including John Terry, William Gallas, Wayne Bridge, Claude MakÚlÚlÚ and Frank Lampard were all brought to Chelsea or nurtured by Ranieri.
During his final months at Chelsea, Ranieri also identified Didier Drogba and Arjen Robben as players Chelsea should sign, both of whom went on to become key club players.
This Tinkerman knows how to build a team, spot talent and let it flourish.
The talk of the airways is the success of Leicester City FC under his mangership.  Even the Radio 4 Today Programme turned itself into TalkSport on Tuesday morning.
How did he do it? He says he doesn't know!  A spartan collection of inherited players of varying talent, no money.  Rags to riches.  Journalists love it. 

How did he do it?  What can we learn? 
The NHS has a Leadership Academy, spends a fortune trying to nourish and nurture leaders yet 15% of chief executive posts are empty and large parts of the service are run by interim managers.

Too early for results?
With a handful of long standing exceptions, I think we have to admit the NHS is not great at leaders, not very good at looking after its staff and pretty hopeless at management teams.
Ranieri?  I don't think he could write a dissertation on; The impact of a new management model on team achievement in the modern business of football....    
However, I do know is that there is just one thing we can learn from Ranieri.
We know he spends more time on the training ground than in the stadium.  Leicester City and for that matter, any other football team, spend Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday getting ready, training, preparing, strategizing, plotting and rehearsing for what they do on a Saturday.  Sunday... who knows!
As the match days change the training changes but in total, they spend more time getting ready to do the job than actually doing the job.
That is why there is so little we can learn from Ranieri.  The NHS always hits the ground running.  Somebody decides there is an overwhelming need for a Community Bunion Team
A chiropodist, a podiatrist and MSK person, an OT, a physiotherapist, a pharmacist, a surgeon, community nurse and finance person, an orthotist, social care person, a GP and a manager (plus anyone else standing by the water fountain), are crashed together and told; improve the service, better outcomes, faster access, for 15% less money... by text Tuesday.  The Bunion Team is born.
No time to train, to team build, JGDI.
The trick will be to share a sense of purpose, agreed outcomes, communication, tight time scales, an agreed plan and budget... oh, and start with the patient and work backwards.  Shared motivation.
Whatever it is it is not a team!
I can see Ranieri's single secret; he creates the time and space for good people to do great things. 
He has turned players into premier winners by telling them he believes in them, showing them what good looks like and keeping it simple.  One game at a time, start with success and work backwards.  What do we have to do step, by step.
It isn't rocket science.  Step back, think careful what you are asking people to do.
We have our own Tinkerman.  Good humoured about his nick-name, he knows he is boxed in by money and time but still has to deliver. 
Leaders are realists but never stop telling their people they believe in them; show them what good looks like, creating the time and space for good people to do great things.
Let's hope our Tinkerman is a football fan.
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