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An open door policy

There is a moment in the closing stages of Matt Santos’ Presidential campaign in the seventh series of the West Wing where Santos’ campaign manager, Josh Lyman, and the Vice-Presidential candidate, Leo McGarry, are discussing where to allocate their remaining ad. budget.

“It feels like we’re closing a lot of doors”, Santos observes as the discussion unfolds. McGarry, the doyen of Democratic political strategy, simply smiles: “Good strategy always does”.

The question that Santos and his team are trying to answer is this: given we have limited resources, where are we going to get the biggest return?  Difficult choices around resource allocation are common in every business. In football, for example, we are faced with a global market for talent, but only a few scouts to access it. We are constantly closing doors to ensure that we have sufficient knowledge of the markets that we do recruit from.

These are choices that forward-thinking clubs are increasingly managing to avoid. Smart player-rating systems, such as 21st Club’s Player Contribution Model, are flipping this process on its head through providing both instant access to the entire market, and an objective, credible way to assess talent instantly en masse.


Access that has only ever been the preserve of the most well-resourced clubs is now available to everyone. The talent pool has been democratised.

It’s the clubs who know what to do with it – who can effectively marry their existing scouting street-smarts with objective, credible information into their processes – who will benefit the most.


About Ben Marlow

Ben Marlow has created 39 entries.