FIFA- A Case Study in Lacking Global Mindset
By Neal Goodman
FIFA’s recent failures have more to do with its inability to function as an inclusive global organization than issues of bribery and related scandals. Had FIFA’s leaders spent more time developing their global mindset competencies and cultural intelligence they would have been able to openly address their concerns about equity, inclusiveness and a shared vision for the future.
What we have is a traditional UN style federation with each vested interest vying for its position and ultimately an “I win you lose” situation rather than a “win-win” which is needed for any successful global organization. The issues facing FIFA are no different than the issues we see every day when working with organizations that see themselves as global but are not even close.
At this critical juncture, FIFA must address its core vison and structure as a global organization. The disharmony between the various regions will not be resolved by simply changing the leadership. There are very good reasons why representatives from Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and others were strong supporters of President Blatter and if the US and Europe does not understand their justifiable concerns, FIFA will fail in spite of the obvious success of soccer as a global sport.
Many years ago (1992), I worked with David Stern and his leadership team at the NBA to try to create a global brand. The NBA has had some significant success and has had some challenges over the past 20+ years but they were at least working from a common set of goals and vision. FIFA is a great example for us all as to the challenges of creating inclusive global organizations and global mindset. Let’s hope that they can learn from the lessons of the past, yet without a significant change in mindset they are doomed to repeat their mistakes.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Best Practice Institute. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of the Best Practice Institute.