The job of a referee can be described in 3 simple steps – in order of importance

  1. keep the game moving
  2. be fair
  3. apply the rules

The test of a good referee is that they are hardly noticed during the game, so it is a high pressure job no matter what level you are operating at; school, club or on the international stage.

Now there will be a number of supporters from England and Mexico who would claim that Point 1 was applied and Points 2 & 3 were ignored by some of the FIFA referees, hence reopening the debate about the use of technology. But let’s not get side tracked.

So what can quality, audit, risk and compliance teams learn from referees?

Question: do they even believe that their job is the same as a referee?

In most cases I would see them applying the 3 points in REVERSE order.

  1. apply the rules
  2. be fair
  3. keep the game (business) moving

If they took the referees approach how many of them would be considered an ASSET to the business rather than a blocker or COST.  This is explored in my blog The end of the Quality Manager.

So now you have a reason to get the audit team along to watch the football – or would have if England hadn’t crashed out of the World Cup so spectacularly.


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