IF YOU read the back pages of the British press this weekend, you might be forgiven for thinking Claudio Ranieri, an affable Italian, has found a way to turn water into wine. In footballing terms, he has. Mr Ranieri manages a club in England, Leicester City, which historically has not been very good. On May 2nd his team became de facto champions of the English Premier League (the lead is now unassailable), a competition more watched than any other on the planet, and so infused with money that those among the biggest-spending clubs—Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United—have won all 20 league titles of the past 20 years.
Leicester’s utterly unlikely victory has enthralled fans who like to see an underdog do well. Sports obsessives will spend the summer debating how the cunning Foxes did it, and if their good form can be sustained. But Leicester’s triumph will also spark interest in the world of business, which has long looked to sport for lessons on management and leadership. Sir Alex Ferguson, a wildly successful former boss of Manchester United, has taught courses at Harvard Business School. Billy Beane’s use of statistics…Continue reading