What the World Cup Is Teaching Us About Global Talent Distribution


I always think of the World Cup as a milestone in human progress. There are so many things that change from one tournament to other. They close a four-year era. And I’m not only talking about sports here.

Back in South Africa 2010, I was working with a team that monitored social media. That was the first time tweets on a second screen mattered in a World Cup. That’s the first time I saw them become water cooler talk.

Then by Brazil 2014, at least where I come from, it was the first time we had 24/7 TV coverage in all the major sports networks. Social media was still super relevant, but this was something else. So much content, so much information. Links, videos, recaps, debates, analysis… every single detail.

So, social media as an opinion driver and access to hyper-information. In the couple years after each tournament, both became big things. Defining factors of their eras.

World Cup + Social Media = Record Ratings, via ESPN

World Cup + Social Media = Record Ratings, via ESPN

Now on in Russia 2018, we’re witnessing the tightest World Cup ever. Except for a 5–0 opening game, it’s like there were no favourites or underdogs. A whole lot of levelled teams playing hard-fought matches. It doesn’t even matter anymore where they come from. Everyone is strong.

So what does it mean? Why football matters at all?

It looks like this World Cup is all about global talent distribution. Something that matters, quite a bit, to the business world as well.

Pay attention to any team and you will find strong methodologies. Tailored training plans, nutrition, dedicated support. They’re all up at the highest level of organization, which is key to develop potential talent.

After shocking everyone by beating defending champion, Germany and a second win against South Korea, Mexico now are group leaders. Via ABC Australia.

After shocking everyone by beating defending champion, Germany and a second win against South Korea, Mexico now are group leaders. Via ABC Australia.

The best players in the world are almost equally distributed worldwide. Or better said, the talent gaps are shortening. Being a star is no longer limited to the Brazilians, Germans, or Argentinians of yesteryear. There are Croatians, Costa Ricans, Egyptians, and many more in the mix today too.

Same as in business. Because physical limitations are becoming more imaginary than real every day. Because information is accessible to more people than ever in human history. That’s why business is changing in this way too.

Talent is now distributed worldwide. People across seas overcome timezone differences, working together to deliver outstanding results, consistently.

Because when you take the mile radius limit off the search for talent, a universe of opportunities opens up. It brings you closer to people who were unreachable, unimaginable, only a couple years ago.

Argentina’s frustrations rise while losing 0–3 against Croatia, their second consecutive defeat, leaving them pretty much out of the tournament. Via india.com

Argentina’s frustrations rise while losing 0–3 against Croatia, their second consecutive defeat, leaving them pretty much out of the tournament. Via india.com

That’s why at Omni, we bet on location-independency. On remote work. On asynchronous teams. On people who love the things they do and leverage the talents they were born with.

Because like in football, geography is no longer a limitation to become a top player. Today, we all can be one. We all can find them. The world is waiting.