T Is For The Ajax Soccer Club TIPS Model

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The Ajax soccer club based in Amsterdam has a remarkable record of producing young players over the past forty years. It has done this by basing their talent development on the English acronym TIPS.

Here is how the approach is described on the club’s web site.

“Ajax has developed the so-called TIPS model, which stands for Technique, Insight, Personality and Speed.

“For each part there are ten criteria. P and S are generally innate properties, but I and T can always be developed further.

“The players own a special Ajax passport, in which all achievements are noted.”


The Ajax model became the template for many football clubs that were serious about developing players.

(Some changed the words to mean Talent, Intelligence, Personality and Speed.)

It is also possible to translate the TIPS approach to organisations.

One approach is to start by clarifying the results that must be delivered in a specific role. Then describe the qualities a person must demonstrate to deliver these results successfully.

It is then vital to watch the person in action. Invite them to perform a specific task that is related to delivering the required results.

Rate their performance under each part of the TIPS Model. Conclude by doing two things.

Give an overall rating regarding the person’s chances of delivering success in the specific role. This must be at least 7+/10.

If you decide to employ them in the role, develop an action plan. Describe the specific things that both they and you can do to ensure they have the greatest chance of delivering success.

There are obviously many other selection and development models that may be more appropriate. But it is also possible to adapt and use elements of the Ajax TIPS approach. Here is the exercise.

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