Monday, 26 December 2011

José Mourinho and knowing

Español: José Mourinho.
Image via Wikipedia
I'm not a follower of football, but have always been impressed by the wide knowledge and eclectic interests of José Mourinho, Real Madrid's manager. Seb Coe, guest editor of the Boxing Day edition of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 invited Mourinho to talk about his approach to his career. Reflecting on those who had been the greatest influence on him, Mourinho recalled his university philosophy lecturer telling him that "a football manager who knows only about football, knows nothing about football".

Let's leave aside for now how a university philosophy professor knew that a young José was destined to be a great football club manager.  Mourinho's success is evidently founded on taking as wide a perspective on collaborative working and team dynamics as possible. In the interview he eschewed a focus on individual technical ability, statistics and tactics.  These things "mean nothing without man management... football is a human science". 

I was reflecting on how true this is in all walks of life, including how we use expertise and individuals' knowledge in organisations. Too often firms focus on technical solutions for organisational learning, at the expense of the 'human science'. A holistic view of why a team would work together as well as how and where is often overlooked.

I heartily recommend that organisations aspiring to move to the Premier League listen to the BBC Radio 4 interview.


This is probably the last KIN Bloggin' post of 2012, so Phil, Erica, Dawn and I would like to wish all our readers a happy and healthy New Year.


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