Obviously, football know-how and skill are crucial to doing well on the field, but once there, the ability to work with colleagues with varying playing styles and experience levels, to manage up and down, and to use initiative to recognise when others are struggling, is what can really make the difference. The performance of each individual can help or hinder both the team culture and success. Take, for example, the performances of Mexico (against Germany) and Croatia (against Argentina.) While these teams might not boast the quality, fitness or top-level experience of their opponents, they have become an example of what can be achieved by simple and clear tactics, executed by players making the most of the talents they possess and working to a common goal. The team morale was raised, setting the precedent for future matches and a positive environment to work in.

This kind of team culture evolves when leaders set an example and acknowledge the importance of their influence. However, responsibility for the team’s culture does not solely rely on the leader/manager, it is shaped by all within an organisation. Each player’s role, be that of defender, striker or even the intern, executive or manager is individually significant as they work together with a mutual mentality that can create better opportunities with more success. Each player or employee must understand their defined role, yet be flexible and modify their position if demanded by the wider team. And whilst a star player must not be overlooked, Messi himself could not win a game on his own. Instead (like the modern professional) he must have a strong team within which to operate and must be prepared (and be seen) to work selflessly within this structure to achieve his end goal. Perhaps this is the key to true productivity and profitability – a happy and focused workforce – and positive, proactive communications can help management articulate this.

The clear rise of the underdogs that we have seen numerous times throughout this World Cup should act as a reminder, of not what can be achieved by eleven men of a football pitch, but in a much broader sense, what can be accomplished by a small, focused and organised group of people. In the world of communications, which as we all know moves at a frightening pace, this lesson should be heralded. With consolidation a recurring theme, with budgets constantly being cut, now may be the time for companies to look closely at their processes and examine if they are being as efficient and selfless as they could be. Companies, whether fund managers or PLC’s, need to be transparent with their employees – empower everyone, be inclusive, stick to long-term vision – in order to get everyone working towards the common goal.