On Sunday evening England’s men won a major World Cup Sporting Event for the 3rd time in their history. The drama of the spectacular final and the joy of the ultimate result have left me, and millions of other cricket fans in a state of absolute bliss.
Now, two days on, cricket is still on the mind.
But I haven’t just been thinking about super overs, sixes and ridiculous deflections… I’ve been thinking about the England team; a remarkable group of individuals who, when brought together, formed a unit far greater than the sum of its parts.
Where does their winning formula derive from? Can something as frivolous and inane as a cricket game give us insight into what makes a successful team in business as well as in sport?
Of course it can.
This is a team demonstrative of our society in Britain today. The cricket grounds around the country during the last 6 weeks of this World Cup have been festivals of passion and colour, with partisan watchers from varying parts of England and the world showing ecstatic support for their teams.
The final contested by England and New Zealand on Sunday saw fans with a plethora of different heritages unite to support an England side they admire.
The diversity of the crowd was mirrored on the pitch. This is an England team whose man of the match in the final was born in Christchurch. The winning over was bowled by a Barbados-born paceman.
So how does a company grow to be successful? How does it compete at the top of its game?
Look at England cricket captain Eoin Morgan’s example, with his response to the following question after the game on Sunday:
“Eoin, do you think you had the luck of the Irish with you today?”
[Laughing] “Well, Adil said we had Allah on our side too, so we had that as well. It’s the rub of the green.
“It epitomises our team; we’re a diverse side from different backgrounds and cultures. We brought that together today.”
He knows that this success wasn’t just built on one type of person. It was built on the flamboyance of some individuals, the grittiness of others, the level-headedness with which he led his team. Successful teams don’t suffocate their talents, they amalgamate the underlying qualities and skillsets of different individuals for the betterment of the team.
The England cricket team had one continuous ethos – bravery. Yet Eoin’s ability to utilise his diverse team as a collective was the winning formula.
On an evening England won a World Cup, the subsequent winners are the people from all backgrounds in this country who saw a team of contrasting individuals combining to achieve something special.
England’s victory showed that diversity is the lynchpin of a successful team.