A good friend of mine took me to see Chelsea play Swansea this week at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final match.

Now I know aligning anything to football is always risky but please put aside any allegiances for a moment whilst we review what happened.

Prior to the match Pete and I both made our predictions in favour of Chelsea winning. After all they are currently European champions, 4th in the Premier League, playing at home and their players are paid tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of pounds each week – we were also sat amongst the home supporters so in our view a home win was the most appropriate prediction..

What we hadn’t factored into the equation was that Swansea turned up with a game plan. As the match progressed Chelsea got more and more frustrated, the crowd got more and more agitated and it was becoming apparent that the Swansea plan was working. Surely they couldn’t sustain it for the whole match so at half time and the score 1 – 0 in favour of Swansea our predictions remained intact and we looked forward to the second half.

Doggedly Swansea stuck to the plan. Still Chelsea couldn’t find a way past them. On and on the match went and still Swansea managed to stick to their plan. The crowd demanded changes so on came the super subs but all to no avail and eventually Swansea went home delighted with a 2 – 0 victory.

What does this tell us? Remember, keep your football allegiances aside for a moment.

First of all being prepared is absolutely key. On the training ground in the days leading up to the match plans would have been formed. How can we do this? What tactics can we employ? What will we all need to do? The players would have practised the skills and tactics required to deliver the plan.

Next everyone would have needed to be absolutely clear on what the plan was and what their role in that plan was. Individually everyone would need to do their job. If one person failed at any point the whole plan risked being jeopardised. The team would have been briefed over and over again. Drills would have been repeated over and over until everyone was ready.

Next there had to be commitment. The plan would need to be followed for the whole match, no deviations, no distractions, whatever happens stick to the plan. That takes lots of concentration and lots of energy.

I am sure both teams also carried out a post match review – ‘how did that happen?’ The second leg is due in a couple of weeks so we can watch with interest whether lessons have been learned.

A lot of people would have predicted a crisis heading Swansea’s way but actually they came away with their objectives achieved – and some!

It just goes to show that even when faced with apparent adversity a well organised, practised and committed team armed with a good plan can achieve great things.

If you are responsible for the Crisis Management Team in your organisation give it some thought – do you want to win or just accept what’s coming to you?