Episode 31
Guest: Maarten Dalmijn

Johan Cruyff and Product Management

Oct 27 / Magnus Billgren
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Johan Cruyff and Product Management
Two years ago, we at Tolpagorni were confronted with a difficult case. A small explosive start-up had been acquired by one of Europe's largest firms. Their products were innovative and cool. The start-up had grown to 200 employees, and many were happy to become a part of a leading European It company.

The culture crash was no surprise when the new processes and structures were to be implemented. Key individuals left the company. The Start Up speed and attitude disappeared. Product Management was left with putting out fires and did not have time to think. At the same time, management decided to aggressively roll out the products in Europe. We at Tolpagorni got involved in solving the problems.

We found support in Total Football. The concept started by Hungarian national team in 1950s. But perfected and evolved by Johan Cruyff. We were able to pick up some key elements of Total Football in our project. "Make the field big when you have the ball; make it small when the opponent has the ball." We created a way of working based on the philosophy of Total Football. The organization got a dynamic structure.

Maarten Dalmijn has analyzed Total Football and Product Management. He has looked at Johan Cruyff and how he has evolved Total Football. The results speak for themselves. Johan Cruyff has built a Cathedral that has made Barcelona one of the best football teams in the sport's history. There is inspiration and wisdom to be found in the concept. Maarten has identified a few keys for total success:

1. Be able to do more than one job a team

2. If you start at the right time, you do not need to be the fastest

3. Build a spatial awareness (domain insight)

Maybe is this was the start of "Total Product"