Is it the effect of the increasingly globalised  football (soccer) industry? Or simply the guilty pleasure of winning prizes for daydreaming? I’ve recently noticed feverish interest in tables of player performance data as colleagues select and nurture their “Fantasy Football” teams. It made me wonder what a “Fantasy PSD” team would look like if players (development ideas) could be selected in similar way across the whole of the league (development industry). So here is my take on what a Fantasy PSD team would look like.
Attack: a proven ability to score goals (development results) coupled with pace and positional awareness
We’ve come to rely on Doing Business  over the years. His direct approach is controversial but certainly gets the fans’ attention. Perhaps because of the controversy he is a bit of a media darling. And now with his new supermodel girlfriend Investing Across Borders  he will be a hard player to replace. I’ll be putting microfinance on the bench for the time being. He was terrific a few seasons ago but ever since last year’s incident with randomized controlled trials  (RCTs) he hasn’t been the same player.
Midfield: the transformational creative spark that can break the deadlock
I’m tempted to give a much bigger role to Output Based Aid . He has made steady progress over the years and may now be ready for the big stage. He is also referred to as Cash on Delivery , which the fans find confusing. Budget Support has never been a popular player in the squad, although he is very effective under the right conditions. From a reputational risk standpoint he is the type of player that tends to get photographed in a nightclub on the eve of a big game. I’m intrigued by the vast potential of Advance Market Commitments  - and other similar prize-based players. Other upcoming talent includes Social Enterprise , who has shown some eye-catching link play with Impact Investing . They could form a formidable pairing.
Inclusive Business  is another exciting new prospect who has caught the eye of some big name sponsors and should give SME support some competition for a place on the team. Finally, what to do with the elusive Private Participation in Infrastructure? Here is a player with so much potential who just hasn’t lived up to his early promise. Perhaps we need to think more creatively about how he could combine with Advance Market Commitments and Output Based Aid.
Defence: rock solid base for the whole team
The two central defenders remain Monitoring and Evaluation. We need good credible data throughout the game. Every season there are surging attacks from Media City, Taxpayers United and Athletico NGO and we need solid evidence to repel them. I’m looking forward to introducing new players such as Web 2.0 and Open Data which will provide additional dimensions to our play. By playing as speedy wing-backs they will be able to deploy real-time data in attack as well.
Looking to the future, what are the trends to watch? I think we’ll be seeing Green teams becoming more significant. Some teams seem to be able to score goals using much lower levels of carbon. We will need to emulate this if the game is going to survive as a global phenomenon in the longer term. Also, the Women’s leagues score lots of goals even though their levels of pay and opportunity are far lower. I’ll also be watching the younger IT enabled players. Their new skills make relevant market information easily accessible and widely available, dramatically reducing transactions costs and rapidly disintermediating established business practices.
So what would your team look like?
(Photo credit: babasteve )