This week’s focus: Xavi, the Barcelona midfield player, averages 120 passes every game and has a completion rate of 93%. This means that he completes over 20 more passes per game than any other European player, and probably completes more passes per match than my team, Preston North End, achieve in an entire season!

Most problems for football teams happen when their passes go awry and they lose possession. Similarly, most operational errors happen in the hand-offs between colleagues, teams, departments and organisations. If you want to reduce the errors and mistakes of your team, look first at the points at which information, materials, activities or responsibilities are passed from one person or group to another.

Off the record: Give Him A Ball And A Yard Of Grass by Sultans Of Ping

Give him a ball and a yard of grass,

He’ll give you a move with a perfect pass,

Give him a ball and a yard of space,

He’ll give you a move with godly grace.

© Stuart Cross 2012. All rights reserved.