When it comes to teamwork, in business and in life, we can all take lessons from arguably, one of the best teams of all-time – the New Zealand All Blacks.
Although they were at the top of their game and winning every major international rugby competition, they just couldn’t get a hold of the Rugby World Cup. They won it in 1987, and then it eluded them till 2011.
After a particularly humbling defeat to France in 2007, realising that too much reliance had been placed on coaches and the captain for on-field, strategic decision making, the whole organisation went through enormous change.
Including establishing a leadership team of experienced players, with the coaching staff engaged in instilling the ‘Everyone’s a leader’ ethos’. The players had to make the decisions on the field, take risks, play to their style, and back each other.
We can take these lessons and apply them in the corporate world to encourage alignment, collaboration, and success.
According to the New York Times, in his article ‘7 Lessons for the Corporate World from the Greatest Team in the World’. Mark Thomas, from the PPI Network, highlights reasons for their winning record:
- Forge a powerful sense of purpose and identity
- Use symbols to guide behaviours
- Always subordinate ego to the team
- Build an atmosphere of trust and cohesion
- Create a team where everyone is the leader
- Focus on the ‘tenths’ to create a culture of success, i.e. leave no stone unturned to improve performance and harness conflict as a force for learning and growth
- Change or lose – consistently learn and evolve
The All Blacks learned from their string of world cup losses and implemented the lessons above, going on to win again in 2011 and 2015.