‘You have to take a shot at the goal, otherwise you can’t score.’ It is a quote from Dutch soccer (football) legend Johan Cruyff. From a humble background in Amsterdam, he became one of the best players in history. Off the field as a player and later as a coach, he became famous for his quotes, which can easily be applied to companies aiming for international expansion.
Speed Is Often Confused with Insight
‘Speed is often confused with insight. When I start running earlier than the others, I appear faster’.
Indeed, speed isn’t worth anything if one doesn’t know where to run to. To expand internationally, market insight is important, after which speed becomes relevant, but only if also the timing is right.
Don’t Run So Much
‘Every trainer talks about movement, about running a lot. I say don’t run so much. Football is a game you play with your brain. You have to be in the right place at the right moment, not too early, not too late.’
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Soccer is simple
‘Soccer is simple, but it is difficult to play simple.’
In fact, soccer can be played simple only as a team. Similarly, reducing complexity to expand business globally can be achieved by building partnerships to overcome legal, cultural and commercial hurdles and to enable insight, timing and speed.
You have to take a shot at the goal
‘You have to take a shot at the goal, otherwise you can’t score.’
This may be Cruyff’s most famous quote and one of my favorites. After insight, timing, speed and teamwork in international business, there is only one thing missing and sometimes even represents the hurdle not taken: execution, execution, execution. Score the goal. It requires taking a shot.