How important is planning and execution? – A lesson from Spain’s La Liga

Last week , Real Club Deportivo Español — one of the oldest teams of La Liga in Spain, lost their game against FC Barcelona. This loss ensured that they will be relegated to the Second Division for the first time in 26 years. Their trajectory this season provides a great business learning experience.

This is an operational team that was coming out of a a strong season last year. Early in the new season, their president described their vision for the year- “this year will be the year that we will classify for a spot in the Champions league” — a clear and direct vision statement — the problem was the lack of a realistic plan to support the vision and therefore the misalignment of resources and objectives with the execution- due to their lack of planning.

During the season the team went through 4 coaches in search of improving results, while achieving one of their lowest goal scoring in their history and the results of their poor execution has left them relegated to the lower league instead of achieving a spot on the highly respected Champions league.

The learning for any business or leader:

“It does not matter what you have previously achieved, but if your vision is not properly aligned to the organization via planning and execution your results will be disastrous… achieve clarity on the vision, design a plan and provide an accountability framework to measure its execution and progress.”