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Lessons from Lasso

Lessons from Lasso

The English Premier League (“EPL”) is the world’s most-watched professional football league. Manchester United and Liverpool have traditionally been the most well-followed EPL clubs, while younger/more recent fans may support Chelsea and Manchester City, whose billionaire-owners’ bankrolled spending had bought them relative success.

I support none of these clubs.

My choice was made many years ago, when a Tottenham Hotspur World Cup winner won me over. Thus began years of joy, and more often, heartache.

Years of joy, and more often, heartache. | Pic: Me

March-April is typically when Tottenham’s season falls apart. By then, we would usually have lost a League Cup quarter/semi-final, got knocked out of the FA Cup and Europe, plus a series of losses in the league to fall out of the Top 4.

2021 was no different — disaster in the League which started even earlier than usual (in January), bested by Everton in the FA Cup; and even a 2–0 1st leg lead in the Europa League Round of 16 wasn’t enough to get Spurs across the line.

The only saving grace was Tottenham miraculously qualifying for the League Cup Final, though ominously our opponents were EPL champions-elect Manchester City (more on that later).

Yet for all the heartache, Tottenham fans ‘come back’ season after season. “This season will be different” — as we always say.


I recently watched Ted Lasso on AppleTV+.

Ted is a fictional football coach from the US (not the football as we know globally, but the American kind), who gets hired to manage the fictitious EPL team Richmond FC despite having no experience whatsoever. OK, he did have a 1-day spell with Tottenham back in 2013… 😂

Ted Lasso brought some laughs in a year where COVID-19 impacted us all.

One scene in the series jumped out at me: where coach Ted counselled a player to “BE A GOLDFISH” after he made a bad move in training. The point that Ted referenced: a goldfish having a short memory of 10 seconds.

BE A GOLDFISH!

Being a “goldfish” for that footballer meant not dwelling on the mistake he just made, so his mind is free to continue playing the game well.

That’s not a bad philosophy, as long as one learns from that mistake.


When “Being a Goldfish” doesn’t quite work

In today’s digital age, some might say there’s not much point in building knowledge banks when Google ‘remembers’ everything for you. If we’re honest, most of our memories would in fact get worse, because we no longer need to train our brains to remember (we just “Google” when we need it).

But while useful for the footballer above, a short memory isn’t quite as useful in the context of learning and development.

In the workplace, we need to factor in short memories and attention spans, and rethink the way we train our workforce.

Especially in our COVID-normal world — where gathering staff in a room for 3-hour training sessions are no longer feasible (these were never that effective in the first place), we need to consider more effective delivery methods, built on the pedagogical framework of Nano Learning.

Nano Learning is learning that’s “just-enough, just-in-time, just-for-me”.

It’s a great way to onboard new staff, convey simple procedural knowledge and many more.

Another great use case we have seen is the creation of Digital Standard Operating Procedures (D-SOPs), such that staff have all the knowledge they need to do their jobs right in the palm of their hands.

We can’t run away from shortening memories and attention spans. But we CAN and SHOULD turn it to our favour, so that our workforce is continuously upskilled through effective bite-sized Nano Learning modules. To achieve more for our organisations.

Our team at ArcLab has made it easy for every organisation to get started. Right here: https://arclab.io

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Epilogue

In the final episode of “Ted Lasso”, AFC Richmond lost to “the mighty” Manchester City, and got relegated.

IRL — Tottenham Hotspur did the same thing, and lost the 2021 League Cup Final to Manchester City. For Spurs fans, it’s another season where early promise again faltered. Another season that wasn’t different. Another season where we came close to a trophy, but fell at the final hurdle. 😢

It has now been 13 years (& counting) since I was at Wembley celebrating Tottenham’s last League Cup title.

Yet since supporting Tottenham ISN’T about learning & development — being a ‘goldfish’ works for me as a fan. I (and my fellow Spurs fans) will undoubtedly return next season for more joy, and heartache.

🤞 Next season will be different. COYS.

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