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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The easy recipe for a great team...


What makes a good team......??
With England’s cricket team sitting (for the first time since official records began) at the top of the world rankings, there has been lots of chat about what has taken them to the top.  The coach and the captain are receiving most of the plaudits - and well deserved no doubt.
I have minimal direct knowledge of the internal workings of the ECB but I wanted to give my own thoughts on what are the key components that go into making up a great team.
There are of course huge complexities in running any organization, but for me - if you get three basics right - you are a long way along the road to success. Life in sports is different to outside sports - there is only ever going to be one Ultimate winner (on an annual basis) - but my guess is these principles will work pretty much anywhere.....

ONE - get a PLAN
It’s boring, but organization is crucial to most things in life.  On pitch - sometimes the payers can look chaotic, the play can look a mess - but most of the time - there is a plan in place, there is a tactic being played out.
Off pitch - you need to know where you are headed.  You need to know how you are going to get there.  You need to let your staff know how their work will impact on that journey.  Your communication of your plan will inspire your owners, your supporters, your staff, your potential sponsors.  The list goes on....
The ECB have been working towards this goal (the #1 tag) for quite some time.  It has not happened by accident - and for sure they have more targets than just that (very big) one.  They have had a plan for some time, and they have been working on that plan (tweaking as they go) - and it certainly looks like it was a good plan.
TWO - get the right PEOPLE
Your most valuable resource....  the people at your disposal.....!!
It’s true all over the world, but in sports - where there are more intangibles (passionate customers, uber-competitive competitors) - getting the right people is crucial to achieving the success you want.  Your staff can bend, your staff can work late, can deal with passionate fans, upset sponsors. 
A good Sports organization thrives on its people - and the more that you can do to recruit, manage and drive these folk on - the better.  You need leaders throughout the organization, you need hard workers, flexible, creative individuals who will deal with the norm and challenge to improve.
THREE - - - - PUSH!!!!
This is the tough one to quantify - and it’s not just chosen because it starts with a “P”.  Sport is not simple - there is a league table that defines how successful you are - and there can be only one #1.  Even if you are doing just as good a job as your nearest competitor, even if you have just as much resource, and your plan is just as good, there is a chance that you won’t get to where you want to be....
That’s because the Club that will finish top of the pile (both on and off) is going to be the one that has the most PUSH....
You need to always be striving for more....  you can NEVER give up...  You can never be totally satisfied (though you can pat yourself on the back every now and again)....  you have to keep pushing and pushing for more....  More from your staff, more from your players, more from your lans / your expectations...
If you are the best, then that is the standard from which you must grow.  Your competitors know where they are aiming, and unless you PUSH yourselves onward and upward, your sights will likely be lower than theirs..... (and it sounds as though the England cricket team are making the right sort of noises already - no complacency there)
Good marketing, good coaching, motivational skills, loads of cash, history, culture, a vibrant community (local and other), a great portfolio of sponsors, the list goes on - there are huge amounts of things to work on - and it’s never ending and often never fulfilling - but if you want to give yourself the best shot - 
PLAN / PEOPLE / PUSH >>>>>>>>

I am now actively looking for work in the USA - I have an online Video Resume here - if you think you can help - or you want to offer me a job / chat through some ideas you have - then get in touch.....

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