Gregorio Uglioni, Head of Business Transformation, Kantonsspital Winterthur and Founder & Podcast Host, The CX Goalkeeper

Gregorio Uglioni is a visionary leader in Business Transformation, Innovation, and Customer Experience. Through his exceptional leadership skills, he has achieved remarkable results in numerous transformation programs, creating a profound impact on customers while fostering a culture of positive innovation. As a prominent figure in the Customer Experience Community, Gregorio has made significant contributions, such as co-authoring two global best-sellers – “Customer Experience 3” and “Customer Experience 4”. He is also the host of the highly acclaimed podcast “Customer Experience Goals with the CX Goalkeeper” and a seasoned keynote speaker and a judge at various international events. Starting his career at Accenture, Gregorio now serves as the Head of Business Transformation at the Cantonal Hospital of Winterthur in Switzerland.


Navigating the competitive landscape of business demands not only mere execution but also a strategic approach reminiscent of the beautiful game, known as football or soccer for our friends in the USA. Successful organizations, much like renowned soccer clubs, recognize the indispensable roles each team member plays in their collective effort to achieve a common goal – winning the game. This article seeks to distill three key elements of soccer strategy and apply them to the realm of business transformation. It offers insights that align strategic initiatives with operational excellence to drive business success.


The cornerstone of a successful soccer team and a business undergoing transformation is decisive leadership. In this analogy, the coach embodies the role of the visionary leader, including:

  • The Team Vision: Just as the coach oversees the entire field, leaders must have an overarching view of the business landscape, guiding transformation with perspicacity and insight.
  • Embodying Team Ethos: A leader’s role transcends strategic direction; it involves inspiring the team with an infectious zeal that propels commitment and elevates performance.
  • Anticipatory Strategy: Much like predicting how competitors will play, leaders must forecast industry trends and disruptions, crafting a resilient and proactive business strategy.

Agility: The Game’s Rhythm

In business, agility equates to a team’s ability to make fluid tactical shifts—much like a soccer team’s ability to take ownership of the game and adeptly respond to its challenges.

  • Pivotal Flexibility: As the team adapts to changing game dynamics, a business must be flexible, ready to alter strategies in response to shifting market conditions, with innovation as a steadfast ally.
  • Consistent Execution: Maintaining momentum is vital; similar to how a team drives the play forward, a business should consistently deliver value efficiently.
  • The Communication Loop: Just as players communicate to fine-tune their approach, businesses require robust feedback mechanisms to refine and improve strategies promptly.
  • Execution Velocity: The pace at which a team operates can dictate the match’s direction. Similarly, the speed of strategy implementation is often pivotal in determining a business’s success.

Human Centricity: The Core of Strategy

At the heart of a winning strategy, like every player on the field, is human centricity, which ensures that every tactical play maximizes individual and collective value.

  • The Human Focus: Just as a soccer team’s success depends on the well-being and synergy among its players, business transformation must centralize the needs, experiences, and evolution of its people.
  • Value Creation for Stakeholders: By ensuring value for employees and the company alike, businesses can achieve a balanced advancement toward transformation objectives.
  • Customer-Centric Innovation:
    • Innovative Needs Assessment: Innovation must stem from a deep understanding of customer needs, ensuring that every introduction or enhancement positively affects the customer journey.
    • Inclusive and Accessible Design: Creating with all potential users in mind allows businesses to widen their market and design products that resonate with a broader audience.

In conclusion, mastering business transformation parallels the orchestration of a victorious soccer team: it requires a blend of structure and adaptability, visionary leadership, nimble tactics, and a human-centered approach. Lessons from the pitch remind us that in business, the goal is not merely to score during a game but to cultivate a culture of excellence, cohesion, and ongoing enhancement to win the Championship. With human beings playing their roles and synergized toward a unified goal, success becomes an expected outcome, not just on paper.

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