Yes, quite right: an Italian, in Berlin, a few hours before the semifinals of the European Cup (Italy-Germany) is presenting a paper on Italian Football. What was he thinking? But at the end it turned out ok.
A lot of friends here at CIM. Two days of interesting presentations.
Strategic agility (Doz and Kosonen, 2008a) is emerging as a particularly relevant strategic framework for companies with limited resources and yet pursuing ambitious objectives whose drivers and dynamics are multifacted and sometimes conflicting. This paper aims at providing new empirical evidence to the strategic agility realm and focuses on a case which fits the various dimensions decribed by Doz and Kosonen. Specifically, our study refers to the context of soccer, where normally divergent objectives are represented by the achievement of both good sports and financial performances. In such a setting, we argue that these objectives can be successfully balanced overtime through the adoption of strategic agility. The case we use to support this hypothesis is that of Udinese Calcio S.p.A., an Italian soccer team which in the last twenty years has kept its books in order and at the same time has managed to obtain excellent results in a very competitive national soccer tournament such as the Italian Serie A. Udinese is a small organization based in a medium-sized city in the North-East of Italy, an area which is indeed peripheral from a geopolitical and business perspective. The team can count on limited resources, it is not owned by wealthy individuals with low spending constraints and an emotional attitude, and it is a quite unique case for both its sports and financial performances. These have been achieved through excellent management practices and the adoption of a clear business model based on quick turnaround of promising players, aimed at turning the team into a factory of talents. We argue that the case of Udinese Calcio, strengthens the validity of the strategic agility concept and can be extended to other situations where the need to strike a balance between divergent objectives with limited resources is quintessential. Examples are to be found outside soccer or sport clubs, in contexts such as health management, education, political lobbying as well as in other public and private initiatives, where organizations may benefit from an effective adoption of the strategic agility paradigm.