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I recently posed this question to the “Bizmanualz Policies Procedures Network“, or group, on LinkedIn:
“The same teams (Brasil, Italia, España, Deutschland, etc.) are perennially among the top contenders for the FIFA World Cup. Do you think it’s the personnel or the system that makes these teams consistently great?”
I’d like to know what you think, and why. To me, it’s sort of a “Heredity or environment?” question: it isn’t one or the other. I mean, you could have one or the other and you might do well. However, if you have both good personnel and a good system that optimizes their individual skills and experience and blends them…
Look at some of the great individual performers of all time, in team sports — Pelé, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, and Babe Ruth. As capable as they were, they didn’t reach the zenith of their respective sports until they were surrounded by other capable people and learned to work as a team, using a system. (I wish I could have John Facenda narrate those last two sentences.)
Strangely, we forget how much their coaches — and the systems they designed and implemented — had to do with their successes. Feola, Jackson, Sather, and Huggins — all devised systems that ensured quality and consistency. Management also scouted well and hired not just talented and hard-working player personnel, but those who understood the “team concept” and put the team ahead of individual accomplishments.
The same is true in business, of course. Some of your employees are undoubtedly star performers but until they have a system that coordinates — meshes — their actions with those of other capable people, and until everyone buys into the concept of “team first”, they’re never going to reach their potential. And as a result, neither will your company.
You have to have a management system that fosters quality, consistency, and ongoing improvement to the system and the people using it. And, you have to have the right players.
By the way, I may as well get a plug in for our LinkedIn policies and procedures group. We’re at http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=86367. If you’re not part of our group, or if you haven’t joined LinkedIn yet, consider this your invitation to join us.
I look forward to your comments — here, by email, and on LinkedIn. I’m especially excited when you challenge my “knowledge” or my way of thinking. (Or as they say in my favorite sport, ice hockey, “You wanna go?”)
Let’s get it on!