Resilient organisations win even when they lose!

Well it was an early start for me today. Up at 4am to watch my Liverpool FC play Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final from Kiev.

Despite the result not going our way, (Madrid 3 - Liverpool 1), just watching the behaviour of the manager, coaches and players and the supporters inspired me to continue my posts that have a soccer analogy associated with them.

Constant change

I have written about every game being different for soccer teams. Every week the ground is different, the pitch is different, the playing conditions are different, the opposition is different, the tactics to be played are different, and the supporters are different. Even during the game, things change. Playing tactics on both sides can change, player numbers can change if red cards are shown and new players can be introduced into the mix.

Constant change is their norm. They don't resist it. They are resilient and say Game On!

If organisations are going to thrive, let alone survive in the world of change, which is now volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, the organisation has to adopt the same attitude, behaviour, culture and mindset as a soccer team.

So what else can we learn in particular from Liverpool’s performance in todays final? 

Mistakes happen!

Madrid scored the opening goal, the nature of which stunned Liverpool.

Liverpool goalkeeper, Karius attempted to roll the ball to a teammate only to roll it to the foot of Madrid’s Benzema who put it in the back of the net.

Social media went crazy describing it as ‘the stupidest mistake ever’, ‘the biggest mistake’, and ‘absolute head loss’.

Following Sadio Mane’s equaliser for Liverpool Madrid’s Gareth Bale’s overhead kick was a shot that Karius had no chance of defending. 

But then another mistake struck as Bale made another shot on goal and the ball went right through Karius’ hands.


Karius was a broken man and distraught at the end of the game and lay prone in the goalmouth.

Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius was at fault for two of Madrid's three goals. 


Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters

After the match Karius said: “I don’t feel anything right now. Today I lost my team the game.

“I feel sorry for everyone. I’m sorry for everyone, for the team, for the whole club. The mistakes cost us dearly.

“If I could go back in time I would.

“I just feel sorry for my team. I know I let them down today.

"It is very hard right now, but that is the life of a goalkeeper. You have got to get your head up again.

"For now, I’m just really sorry for everyone that those goals cost us the title basically.”

He admitted his mistakes and the ramifications.

Organisations need to establish an environment of honesty, trust and respect where a person can say, “I made a mistake and will learn from it”.

No blame culture

No player stopped to point the finger at Karius after the first or second mistake. They carried on and played as a team with the same objective in mind. That was to win!

Reactions after the match also demonstrated camaraderie and shared responsibility.

Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp said, 

“I have only very, very few words after the game but it’s nothing to talk about. I really feel for him, nobody wants that, [but] that’s the situation. The mistakes were obvious, we don’t have to talk about that, it’s all clear; he knows it, I know it, you all know it. Now, he has to deal with it, we have to deal with it, we will do that – of course we will be with him, there’s no doubt about that. It was not his night, obviously.”

Liverpool captain, Jordon Henderson said

“It is not the mistakes Loris Karius made, we got to the final as a team and lose as a team

"It is about everybody. We were not good enough on the night.

"I am so proud of the players and the fans who came out for us on the night. 

"I hope we can carry on and get into more finals and use it going forward.

"We have to be proud of getting here. It will hurt for a while but we have to keep going."

 Everyone rallied around Karius and took the outcome as a team not as an individual player.

Organisations need to establish a ‘no-blame’ culture in which we take it on the chin as a team and do not blame an individual who through no malice made a mistake that had undesired outcomes.

We all have to learn from the experience and move on unified in a shared goal.


The Liverpool team and supporters will lick their wounds for a while but will get back up and demonstrate resilience - both resilience in the face of adversity and resilience in the face of constant change.

Organisations have to do the same.

The Liverpool supporters at the end of the match, despite the 3-1 loss, stood as one in support of their team as shown in the photograph taken by Sam Carroll and uploaded to Twitter.


Source: Liverpool Echo




They raised their scarfs and sang, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. Both in Kiev back home in Liverpool and around the world, supporters showed their appreciation and acknowledged the efforts of a few.

Organisations need everyone to encourage, motivate, and support others in their endeavours and show appreciation and acknowledgement where it is due.


Accept that constant change is the new reality; build a resilient workforce along with a culture of honesty, trust and respect.

Accept that mistakes happen, learn from them and move on. Do not lay blame on one person – this is a team effort.

Build a workforce that supports each other in the achievement of a common goal, encourages, motivates, acknowledges and appreciates

Build a workforce that shows resilience in the face of defeat and quickly bounces back ready to face the challenge.

When this happens organisations will win despite continual change, increasing competition, increasing customer and consumer demands, and rapidly changing technology.

Organisations will win despite the odds.