Teamwork has been central to the renaissance in the national game under
Sven-Goran Eriksson – HR teamwork, that is.
The Football Association’s HR team was involved in the decision to appoint
Eriksson and has also played a significant role in increasing the
organisation’s profits from £3m to £125m in two years.
Paul Nolan, head of HR at the FA, said at a seminar organised by Mckenzie’s
last week that when he joined the organisation in 1999, he thought it was run
like a gentlemen’s club and lacked vision.
HR sat on the bench with no input into the business strategy. In his first
week, one of his personnel officers was expected to clean up after an employee
who had been sick.
But Nolan has carved out a new role for HR at the FA. The team implemented a
radical recruitment strategy to introduce management skills into the
association from the private sector. The average age of staff has dropped from
54 to 35.
Nolan now sits on the FA’s management committee and the HR team has developed
an extensive mentoring and coaching programme.
"We hope to be in a position that when Sven leaves there is a pyramid
of young talent underneath to take his place," he said.
"We need a clear vision, and above all courage to implement the changes
which will keep our competitive advantage alive. I believe that HR’s place is
at the core of that process."