CAN 2023, What Lessons for Transition Managers?

The Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2023 in Ivory Coast was much more than just a football tournament. It was a rich experience, offering valuable lessons that managers in general, and transition managers in particular, can benefit from. In this article, we explore how this event can inspire transition management professionals through three main aspects: surprise, resilience, and organization.

A Tournament of Surprises

The first round of CAN 2023 was marked by unexpected results, with outsider teams qualifying at the expense of some favorites and spectacular matches. Surprise, with its effect of unforeseen and originality, captivated the interest of all spectators. For example, Equatorial Guinea made a surprise by finishing first in its group for the first time in its history. A qualification all the more historic as it was achieved in one of the most challenging groups of the competition after a resounding victory (4-0) against the host country.

The elimination of Ghana in the group stage, or that of Senegal in the round of 16 after a flawless journey, are among the most unexpected events of this tournament. Transition Managers are often faced with unexpected situations and unforeseen changes when they take on transition missions in a company. The ability to turn these surprises into opportunities, sources of inspiration, and motivation levers is essential for successfully achieving the set objectives. This allows them to reassess and adapt their approach, stimulate their creativity, and transform obstacles into opportunities.

The Resilient and Triumphant Journey of the Ivory Coast Elephants

Ivory Coast demonstrated remarkable resilience throughout its journey in CAN 2023. Particularly noteworthy is how it managed the unexpected transition of its coach during the tournament. Despite initial losses and uncertainty related to this change, the team remained united, supporting each other, and rallying to ultimately win the victory. This ability to deal with failures, unexpected changes, and challenges was rewarded with a historic success at home.

In the world of transition management, the parallels with this sporting experience are striking. Transition Managers often step in where things have not gone as planned, following multiple failures or in crisis situations. Their ability to show resilience is thus crucial for success in their missions.


Just as the interim Ivorian coach had to quickly adapt to his new responsibility and inspire confidence in his team, Transition Managers must also be able to navigate with agility in changing environments. They need to be ready to make tough decisions, mobilize teams, and create a sense of unity even in times of turbulence.

Ultimately, it is by embracing change and overcoming challenges with determination that Transition Managers can succeed in turning difficulties into opportunities. Like the Ivory Coast national team, their ability to remain resilient in the face of adversity is key to their success.

A Welcoming and Festive Environment Conducive to Success

The organization of CAN 2023 in Ivory Coast was a model of its kind, offering a welcoming, festive environment conducive to success. This organizational success provides valuable lessons for managers, who can also play a crucial role in creating an environment conducive to success in their own areas of activity.

The mobilization of resources is essential to ensure the success of a project, whether it is a large-scale sporting event or the achievement of objectives in a company. Managers must be able to identify and efficiently allocate the necessary resources, whether budgets, personnel, or materials, to ensure smooth operations.

In conclusion, CAN 2023 has been a source of inspiration and a management lesson for professionals in the field. The surprises, resilience, and organization observed in this event offer valuable lessons for managers and transition managers. By drawing on these lessons, management professionals can enhance their skills and successfully achieve their goals.

Sory Ouattara – Actiss Africa Abidjan

CAN 2023, What Lessons for Transition Managers?