Sorry to repeat myself but Roman Abramovich is like a man who constantly returns cheese to the supermarket complaining it is mouldy and nobody is brave enough to tell him it is Roquefort. I can hardly believe I write that same text only 262 days after it first appeared.
You do not like the approach and achievements of the previous manager so you appoint someone new. Fair enough, I hear you say. One of the failings in the previous management regime was a perceived lack of success so the new man must be measured against his own collection of silverware. One FA Cup win plus an admittedly fortunate Champions League win on penalties (yes, an English team won on penalties) and you would think a change for the good had been made.
Instead, Roman shows what a confused warrior he is by dismissing the man who delivered exactly what he craved from a multi-national multitude of former top-drawer coaches.
Previously I looked at the dismissal of Andre Villas-Boas in the context of Supply Chain change and I reprise that here with reference to the 262 days of RDM being in charge at the Stamford Bridge revolving door.
- Objectives: Set objectives and make them and the associated timescale very realistic. ……er, two of these were probably to win the FA Cup and Champions League.
- Commitment: Agree the project at the top table and communicate by selling not telling. RDM took on a job many others would not want knowing he would be sacked one day but not quite so soon. RDM was committed but RA obviously was not.
- Expectations: Constantly manage expectations upwards AND downwards in the business. Expectations were tournament wins and this was delivered on time in full. Perhaps there was another expectation we do not know about?
- Communication: Communicate progress frequently, clearly and honestly at all levels. Communication appears to be a problem here as most people did not expect the dismissal and RDM had not even had a “vote of confidence”.
- Training: Does the team have the skills and competencies for the future reality. Identify gaps sooner rather than later? Key signings of quality players were made to cure known weaknesses, e.g. Hazard, Oscar.
- Celebrate: Celebrate significant milestones and keep interest high. Both trophy victories were celebrated, even by the captain who was not even playing in Munich but lifted the cup.
- Manage: Appoint a dedicated and respected Change Manager to guide the overall process of change in the business. Apparently, this was RDM and he has departed in this latest round of Russian roulette part way through the process.
From the previous Chelsea blog, “If you have identified change is necessary then some careful preparation and planning is more likely to bring you success than a petulant, knee-jerk, short term reaction”. Chelsea is a business just like an FMCG or Brewing or Pharmaceutical company and change management in all of these is critical or you will fail.
Good luck Rafa Benitez!