Last week My News sponsored the match between Watford and Rotherham.
As part of the package we went on a tour behind the scenes at Vicarage Road.
For me the most fascinating part of it all was seeing the home changing room.
Everything was neatly laid out for each player. Their kit, boots, towels, tape to hold their socks up. You name it and it was there for the players.
As was their boots, drinks, snacks and even a match day programme for them to look at before taking to the field.
The environment was spotless, totally professional and you felt good just absorbing this atmosphere.
I asked the kit man the thinking behind all of this precise preparation. His reply was simple. “We make sure that the only thing they have to worry about is playing. Everything else is done for them.”
I remember reading that Sir Alex Ferguson created a ‘No Excuses’ culture at Manchester United.
Now as much as I might not like the Red Devils I do respect them.
At My News I’m trying to create an environment where my team only have one thing to be concerned about and that’s producing great magazines.
Our new office is a great environment to work in and we’ve invested a lot of money in it to make it that way.
We’ve colourful furniture and the walls are adorned with copies of our magazines and inspirational quotes such as ‘Choose Your Attitude’. We’ve bought a bar football table, comfortable sofas and even a beer and wine fridge.
My thinking is that a happy and relaxed team will work harder to get better results (if only that was true of my beloved Everton at the moment).
We are also always trying to keep bang up to date with technology so our team have the best tools to do their job. I also insist on all desks being tidy.
I don’t want staff coming to me and saying ‘I could’ve done it but my computer crashed, or the filing cabinets are too small, or there are no note pads left.’
What I learned from the tour of the Hornets’ nest was that the small details matter enormously when creating a place where excuses are taboo.
Thanks for reading.