The Cleveland Browns are statistically speaking, the worst NFL Team in history. Despite having one of the most dominating decades in all of sport, lead by the NFL immortal Jim Brown, The Browns have failed to capitalise on any talent they have been able to muster since the inception of the NFL in the 1970s, and have famously been through an almost unbelievable amount of Quarterbacks and Coaches (in the double digits) since the turn of the decade.
Above all else, the Browns seem to suffer from one key error, that results in their consistent losses in the NFL extending far beyond what could naturally be expected of an average team.
This key error is miscommunication. Even when the Browns manage to reach an advantageous position, they are unable to capitalise upon it due to the effects of their terrible communication, causing mistakes in the teamwork left, right and centre. So how do you stop this from happening at your workplace?
You need a quarterback, and you need a coach
For most companies, having a manager and a 2IC is very typical in any given team. In project teams, this will often be a Project Manager and a Business Analyst. For Product Teams, this may be a Product Owner and a Product Manager. There are loads of examples to choose from, and you’ll probably find yourself in a team where a Manager will decide what to do, and a Second Manager will focus on the execution.
A quarterback and a coach are no different. The Cleveland Browns have lacked a consistent Quarterback and Coach over the past decade, and thus have lacked two fundamental components of any well managed team; a decision maker and execution manager.
Without either of these people, your team is destined for failure. Without a decision maker, the message cannot be clearly defined for the execution manager, and without an execution manager, the message cannot be clearly delivered to the team members. Communication in itself is the one area in all of business that is absolutely necessary, and the success or failure of the business rests upon it.
Definition and Execution
In order to build an effective team, above all else you need definition and execution. To define what needs to be done, and what is the expected outcome is to make a clear decision on the direction of the team. In doing so, you can build a clear idea as to what is needed to build a truly competent team, instead of a team of highly skilled individuals.
Following definition, the execution matters the most. The hardest part of creating value in a company is deciding how to manage the right tasks to be executed in the right order, in doing so building the right way forward.
This is where the Cleveland Browns are lacking. The Browns themselves don’t have the best method for recruiting coaches and quarterbacks either, which doesn’t do them any favours. With their most recent recruit at quarterback, the Browns may have found their execution manager, and along with their coach, have found a way to win (or at least not lose as much).