Business lessons we can learn from the All Blacks

Every Kiwi already knew it, but with the All Blacks winning the Laureus World Team of the Year award earlier this year, it’s now official: the All Blacks are the best team in the world. But what makes them so phenomenally successful? There’s no doubt that the All Blacks invest a great deal of effort in building a sense of legacy, continual improvement and high expectation which has generated extraordinary success. In this article we look at the key lessons we can draw from the All Blacks, which can be applied to generate success in the world of business.

Get the basics right

Whether it’s improving the line-out or developing passing and tackling skills, the All Blacks spend a lot of time and effort practising and perfecting those basic skills of the game. Businesses could well benefit from devoting more time to identifying what the relevant basics are for your company and making sure that you get them right every time.

Create a learning environment

Another important aspect of the All Blacks winning formula is their emphasis on continual improvement. This philosophy was inspired by Graham Henry’s experience as a headmaster and it involves training and development to improve and enhance the collective skills of the team. Individual personal development is charted on a day by day, week by week, season by season basis. Businesses that create a learning environment tend to be more dynamic, high achieving and positive places to work. And that value system will have a huge impact on your bottom dollar.

Review and reassess

After every game the All Blacks take time to collectively review their performance. Asking questions such as what worked well, what didn’t work so well and how could we do things differently are central to the All Blacks success story. The notion of continual review though is usually overlooked in business. Too often we get caught up in the busyness of day-to-day operations and we neglect to take stock and reflect on our overall performance. Taking the time to do so, and to do so thoroughly, will make a significant difference to enhancing productivity throughout the organisation.

Clear communication

Another thing that the All Blacks are really good at doing is coming up with a game plan, communicating that plan to the players and getting them to sign up to it.

Having a clear plan of action is a must for any business. Being clear and concise in the way you communicate that plan to staff members, ensuring that they are signed up to the plan and understand where their contribution fits in, are all valuable lessons that we can apply in the workplace.

It may not be possible for all of us to be world beaters like the All Backs. But applying some of the practices they have employed to create those amazing achievements will go a long way to securing success for your company in the world of business.


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