While the world is celebrating Usain Bolt’s stunning new 100m word
record, British and Commonwealth readers, however, will be turning their
thoughts to cricket – with
the deciding game of the Ashes
due to start on Thursday.
Forget about World Championships: it is the series of Test Matches between
England and Australia that has always commanded the passion of real cricket
This year’s contest is particularly exciting. In a drama
that could have been structured by a Hollywood scriptwriter – if Hollywood
scriptwriters understood cricket – the initiative has been first with one side,
then the other. With each side having won once it all comes down to this last match.
Since our minds will be on cricket anyway, we might as well
invent some business pretext to talk about it, so here a few useful things an
entrepreneur might learn from cricket*.
1 Patience, patience,
2 Persistence pays. Though
when you know you are definitely on to a loser giving up can be the right thing
to do, usually persistence pays. One of the clever things about the way cricket
is structured is that a game can game change very quickly, and the team that
seemed hopelessly behind can often snatch a victory against the odds.
3 Hard slog matters.
It is often the unspectacular middle order batting that seems to be getting
nowhere which determines the game. So it is in business.
4 Some decisive
factors are beyond our control. It was Welsh rain that saved the English team
from defeat in the First Test in Cardiff.
5 Success and
failure are rarely clear cut. It is notoriously difficult to define what
constitutes victory in a cricket match. It is not just a matter of piling up
the most runs – in the same way that the highest sales do not necessarily make
the most profitable business.
6 Playing by the rules
is not enough. It is how you play within the rules that counts. There is such a
thing as sportsmanship. In business, formal legality matters less than honesty.
* Our apologies to American readers but, despite what some
is not the same.