What makes a good team great?

Oh dear England. Definite positives from the Italy game [apart from Phil Neville’s commentary].  Definite disaster against Uruguay. Various pundits called it a good performance against Costa Rica.  But Costa Rica hardly turned up. All this added up to the worst progress at the finals in over 50 years.

What went wrong?

Calling me a football expert is like calling Wayne Rooney a theoretical physicist. I don’t even particularly like the game. But I do get drawn in by the hype and excitement.  What I saw from my ignorant viewpoint was a team that together simply couldn’t produce enough quality enough of the time. The countless missed crosses, tackled dribbles, lack of speed and cutting edge meant that they simply weren’t good enough to deliver.

What tenuous learnings can I take from this and apply to teams in a workplace that deals with clients? Um, dive on the floor and claim injury when I pass a colleague I don’t like? No?

  • Communication – simply put, if you don’t know what others are doing in your team, and you’re all working to a common goal of being brilliant for your client, how do you know if you’re all in the best position to do this?
  • Cutting edge – genuinely challenging the team to work out how to break through barriers to achieve that rare trusted partnership with clients is something few people plan for…and even fewer then execute against the plan. Trust in it. As Einstein said [somewhat inaccurately quoted] ‘Definition of Insanity – to keep doing the same things over and over and expect different results’. Plan differently. Do differently. Get different results.
  • Missed crosses – OK, really I mean missed opportunities. Ask yourself what you and your team do to firstly create opportunities, and then convert them into benefits for both you and your clients
  • Lack of speed – Are you in a slow-moving leviathan of a company? Do things pass you by?  In this world, right now, speed is key. Adapt and be flexible, dash forward to be there for clients, zig-zag your way through corporate obstacles. I’ll stop with the football parlance now.
  • Tackled dribbles – I’m not even going there with this one, just to say that if you are stopped in your tracks, get up and try again with a new approach. Never give up! Remember what Winston Churchill once said – ‘we will bite them, on the features’. No, that wasn’t it was it. Enough already.
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