Friday, 22. June 2018

What an early World Cup elimination of Germany would mean strategically

The pressure is enormous. If the German national football team wants to avoid a fiasco, they have to win their World Cup group match against Sweden on Saturday.

Never before has a German national team been eliminated at a World Cup in the group stage. It would be even worse than the 1978 "disgrace of Cordoba" when the DFB team was eliminated by Austria early on.

However, it is too early for fatalism: after the defeat by Mexico - so it seems, at least from the outside - a considerable jolt has gone through the reigning world champion. Should the team achieve the hoped-for performance improvement and a victory against Sweden on Saturday, critical reportings should also smooth out quickly in the press. Nevertheless, at least hypothetically, the question of consequences must be allowed: What would a possible preliminary round-out mean for the DFB team - and for its leadership?

Who hesitates loses

For almost 14 years, Joachim Löw (two years as assistant coach and ten as head coach) and Oliver Bierhoff as team manager are the heads of the German national football team. During this time, they brought the team out of depression, transformed it completely, and helped it become the FIFA world champion in 2014. In our case study "Die Mannschaft - How Germany won the FIFA World Cup 2014", that we conducted with Harvard Business School, we described and analyzed this transformation process in detail. However, success is often followed by lethargy. It is human to rest on laurels and to believe that success will somehow continue. This phenomenon, the so-called "trap of success", is encountered not only in sports but also in the business world.

>>> Read the complete analysis by Prof. Schmidt here