Sir Alex Ferguson is one of the greatest football managers the world has ever seen. The Scotsman led Manchester United to decades of trophy-laden success, which the Premier League giant has struggled to replicate since his retirement in 2013.
But how did Ferguson manage to sustain unprecedented levels of success over such a long period?
According to management consultant Professor Damian Hughes, the answer is simple: Ferguson was not merely a football manager – he was a manager of change too.
He told Business Reporter: “What comes through is his relentless focus – not on winning for winning’s sake, but on something bigger than that, almost an idea of Manchester United.”
In Hughes’s new book, entitled How To Think Like Sir Alex Ferguson, he highlights Ferguson’s ability to cope with change as a key skill for continued success.
It is an approach that could prove useful to every senior leader looking to provide strategic direction for an organisation.
He added: “Change management is the central plank of Ferguson’s management approach.
“Ferguson said the cycle of a successful team lasts for around four years before change is needed.
“He would visualise where he wanted the team to be in three or four years and adjust accordingly.
“The Scotsman always had his eye fixed ahead rather than on any short-term goals such as winning trophies.”
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