Category Archives: Operations

Lessons From France v/s Argentina Game

Being a week-end it was easy to catch-up on FIFA World Cup games and what more than to see France and Argentina fight out. It was an outstanding game where team dynamics accompanied with individual caliber led to France edging Argentina out.  While it sounds sad and a heart-break for many Argentinian fans , one has to respect the game dynamics which led to this. Football is truly a team sport that reflects on how team dynamics can impact the outcome.

While having a objective is important for a team to deliver but it is not enough to make the team move. Here are some picks from my side while watching the game on how it could have meant a totally different result.

  • Lesson from fourth Goal : Check out the video
    • Planning : Mbappe was left unchecked , when he had already scored earlier in the game. The sheer agility at which this individual was making through defense lines was amazing and the ease with which he played it out! There was no struggle on his face , but he was left unmarked or almost given a free run. What happens on the field needs to be constantly analyzed to course correct and respond to changes around you. Initiatives if constantly not monitored , planned and observed can never meet desired outcomes. 
  • Lessons from being a star performer
    • Being a star performer comes with lot of burden. The constant limelight just kills it. People look upon you for being a role model , leader , planner & strategist .. almost everything. I think so at the end of the day it was too much for Messi. I guess somewhere the man was made to look bigger than mission. You can never be bigger than the mission itself , because then the focus on mission goes away. Yes you can be important to mission but portrayed or deemed bigger than mission for an initiative is not positive signs for success. 
  • Playing in decentralized approach
    • You got to do the best on what you do. A lot was seen from what the French side was trying to achieve. Players like Pogba , Mbappe were living the game with their own stride , doing what they knew best for the game and orchestrating a run through Argentinian defense.
  • French Teams fitness level
    • The speed and agility showed by the French made them look ready for the mission. They were making runs within 15 minutes at speed which Argentinians could not match with their skill or talent. When getting into an initiative you need to be very critical whom you pick for it as that can make or break your ability to succeed. You also need toe ensure that skill alone will not play it out , one has to be make it work !

Start-Up Operations…What Works

While I was sitting back and enjoying a cup of coffee , I thought to reflect back on some of the exciting things that I have done in my previous roles…objective was to try and come up with common elements running across these experiences that enabled me to deliver successfully.


Generally I have worked for start-up operations under flexible governance structure. Somewhere in between tried hands on two failed start-up concepts…one was a rock solid product but lacked marketing whilst other was a services idea , which lacked commitment of time from partners ( including me ) , anyway some of the other successful things which I did were in domain of start-up operations where I made strategy win with execution…

Broad themes of my start-up operations experience were / are linked to ( many more to come 🙂 ) :

  • Working on product architecture to take windows based software to web
  • Setting up IT services for a leading online company’s customer care software
  • Taking back control of new product development unit
  • Reviving a dead product roadmap and executing development strategy
  • Moving into new markets

My idea is not to get into specifics what I did in these but bring out what worked:

  • Be quick to list your customers ( internal / external ). Creating a business flow and pegging customers are various points , will allow you to identify your goals.
  • Create team structures relevant to that goal. Hiring and structuring a team is very important aspect of making a start-up operations successful.
  • Hire smart and few people to start with. Early in game you don’t know how things will pan out. Go for candidates that can adapt to change and multitask. Keep the team lean so that agility is not lost , even if the unit has to stretch in early days.
  • Goals will keep changing , but solve for it by reducing their time horizon. Start with weekly , moving to monthly , quarterly as things pan out. Keep it very closely knit with business goals and then pan it out as a balance between personal / business goals for individuals.
  • Focus is very important. At all times maintain focus at your level as well at team’s level. There will be distractions but , focus will allow one to beat the distractions and keep marching in forward direction.
  • Continuously Build – Measure – Learn , to allow for quick changes in system , people and process.