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Aime Jacquet says that he set "winning the World Cup in 1998" as his sole target from his nomination as a coach. This is the most important point to consider when building a team and is often forgotten.

He said also that he built his team by selecting players able to play together and to follow the strategy he designed. They are not necessar­ily the most brilliant in their function.

Aime did not hesitate not to select Eric Cantona, who was unani­mously considered as the premier soccer player. But Cantona was some­times playing personal and not always as part of the team. Aime Jacquet considered him unreliable and preferred to leave him out.

Another example was the selection of two players—Zidane and Dugarry—who are friends and often played together. If Zidane was acknowledged as the premier in his role, Dugarry was more discussed, but Aime stood firm and Dugarry made him a wonderful gift when scoring the first goal of the World Championship during the game against South Africa.


You must set up a clear and attainable target even if it is difficult to attain, and you build the best team to hit this target.

Trying to achieve a specific goal with a team built for something else will always be deceiving. You can illustrate this with an example taken from American sports. Anybody understands immediately that the Chicago Bulls will never win the Super Bowl and the Denver Bron­cos will never be NBA Champions. Meanwhile, something obvious for everybody when speaking of sports is ignored in the life of many companies.


Once the target is set up, you start the selection of the team mem­bers. If in games the number is fixed by the rules, in companies, you can adjust the number of team members to have the most efficient team.

To select the team members, the important points are as follows:

      They accept the target as their target and they consider it as attain­

      They are able to work together and to serve the team before serving

You must expect to make some trial runs of the team before defi­nitely selecting the members. A good way to make these trial runs is to select the potential members and to take them out of the company for some hours or days to prepare the work. Jean-Marie Descarpentries, former Bull CEO, used to bring one or two persons more than requested Sometimes, an attendee decides that he or she is not able to integrate the team and you have the capability to replace him or her immedi­ately. Sometimes also, on the other hand, you may discover that inte­grating two persons in lieu of one can be a great plus for the team.

Don't forget that it is heart breaking to say to someone that he or she will not be part of the team, especially if he or she had been in­volved in the first team meetings.

During this period of team building, don't forget the golden rule of Aime Jacquet: You must have a team and it is better to have team mem­bers who are not the most brilliant persons but who are able to disappear in the team than top-ranking persons unable to work efficiently inside a team. If the expertise of such persons is requested, use them as external experts giving sound advice to the team in their field of expertise.

To Be Continued

For balance of this article, click on the below link:

Lean Manufacturing Articles and click on Series 11

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