A quick trawl through my junk mail filter in the last few months and I can find emails selling me ‘spooktacular’ deals (Hellowe’en) and ‘explosive deals’ (Guy Fawkes). I can’t stand those emails. They feel contrived and unoriginal; I can almost sense the copywriter, charged with a ‘quick’ solution going to their big book of clichés to pull out a suitable analogy.
I find these kind of marketing tactics grate more than I should reasonably expect; I think it’s the lack of originality that irks most.
And then, one day when you’re reading a website, along comes an idea that is so obvious it’d be both foolish and rude not to develop it. So, in the spirit of all those marketing tactics, please take a look at this article about the New Zealand rugby team.
The piece looks at how the squad has maintained its position as the number 1 rugby team in the world and identifies a number of factors which are worth considering through a workplace L&D lens.
The piece highlights how the team have had to backfill for 2 key squad members. How often do we do this in the workplace? Succession and talent management, planning for the high performers absence should be a staple for the L&D professional. There’s a tendency for L&D to be involved after the star performer has gone, to help the organisation fill in the gaps.
Influence on the field
Losing the 2 star performers has meant that the cadence and pace the team works at on an operational basis has been disrupted. In the workplace, how devolved is the decision making? Without a ‘pace setter’ does the team slow, break rhythm or falter? How close is the next leader to being able to step up at a moment’s notice?
Scoring from all over
The All Blacks have been formidable when scoring; they’ve had points on the board from players across the pitch. Can the same be said about your organisation and team? Can people back fill into a role at the same standard? Would someone outside the team recognise that people are filling in, covering for people, working as a team but in different roles?
Dripping in new talent
There’s been quite a churn in the personnel of the New Zealand team; 2/3 of the team are new. Holding onto old glories is great to a point but developing new blood, identifying potential and not being afraid to recognise when performance becomes dated are critical skills. These are the skills of a performance support professional.
Peer to peer
I’ve talked about the social element for ages and I was thrilled to see a coach from one of the best teams in the world say the following:
To be honest we (the coaches) actually do limited coaching. We really encourage the leaders to lead, and we demand our senior players coach – or assist – our new boys.
We’ll let that sink in for a moment. There is a demand that more senior professionals coach and assist those newer to the team. Can you say the same about your workplace?
Not good enough
The idea of a 85% pass mark wouldn’t work with the All Black team; their strategy is clear – to be the best in the world. They’re not training the gaps, they’re striving to be the best they can be. Next time someone asks you to write a compliance piece, just consider that before agreeing.
Is this a reasonable comparison? Can we look at a world class sporting team and reflect workplace practice into it? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments box, and you never know, Santa might see your good deed and…(sorry. I’ll stop now)