Don's Diary

August 24, 2001

A culturally diverse week if ever there was one. In the office to finalise details for a trip to Shanghai to work on the business school's joint executive MBA project with the Bank of China. It is the bank's first venture with a western university so I do not want to leave anything to chance.

First, though, I have an important appointment in Cheshire. The Football Association runs its senior coaches' course there at this time of year and I want to keep up my football coaching qualifications. I will be staying with my family - all Evertonians, so still in mourning over Liverpool's treble success.

First day of the FA's senior managers' and coaches' course. I need this to keep my Uefa "A" licence up to date but it is also great stuff for my research project on managerial principles across different disciplines. It provides great war stories for my lectures. But best of all it enables me to be a fan and rub shoulders with my heroes.

The programme kicks off with former England manager Graham Taylor on the lessons he has learnt from his thousand games. After dinner, FA chief executive Adam Crozier is impressive with a business-oriented vision of the FA's future. He takes some stick from the pros but handles the situation well. I am struck by examples of how similar football and business are - all good stuff.

Today's practical session is taken by the former Hungarian international team manager. He coaches "counter attacking" but when we chat after his presentation he mostly wants to discuss European Union enlargement.

The next session is a typically amusing and relevant input by England's former assistant manager and Southampton stalwart Lawrie McMenemy on recruitment and retention of star players. This will be especially useful for my new Financial Times book, The 90-Minute Manager .

Another practical session - this time with youngsters from Crewe Alexander receiving coaching from former Wimbledon manager Dave Bassett.

Definitely spot some more lessons here for dealing with unruly MBA students.

It is the end of the course and I need to change out of football shorts, back into a suit and auto-industry expert mode.

Another cultural shift as I attend the official opening of Jaguar's new plant at Halewood for the unveiling of the latest X-type and another facet of the motor industry for me. Earlier this year I wrote about the BMW/Rover saga. The Jaguar story could well be the next book.

We watch a video link to Ford chief executive Jac Nasser. His message, "What drives success is passion plus organisation", is identical to what the football managers were saying earlier in the week. No doubt the Bank of China will think the same.

Chris Brady is the director of the full-time MBA at City University Business School. He is also head of business coaching at Cape Consultants.

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