The Winning Organisational Culture Of The New Zealand ‘All Blacks’: Lessons For Businesses.
If you want to explore ways of improving your organisational culture, look no further. One of the best examples of what an organisational culture is and how it can be nutured and developed is in the sporting arena, in a small country that I regard as the ‘Sporting Sparta’ of the Globe – The New Zealand ‘All Blacks’ Rugby Team.
How does a little nation like New Zealand, with a population of just 5 million people, produce the most successful sporting team in the world? The ‘All Blacks’ win rate over the last 100 years makes it the most successful sports team out of any sport, anywhere on the planet. Lets see what we can learn from them.
The Importance of Organisational Culture.
A business could have the best business strategy in the world, yet if its organisational culture is poor, that business will struggle to correctly apply and maximise the gains from the business strategy or tactics they are attempting to apply. One of the key components of a great organisational culture is ‘attitude’. Does your team have a ‘can do’ or ‘how can we do that’ attitude or are they more inclined to say “That’s above my pay grade” or “I’m not paid to do that”?
Having teams with the right attitude doesn’t simply happen, we have to attract and nurture people with the right attitude. We have to recognise and reward results and yet have a culture of accountability too. These things combined culminate to inspire and motivate team members. That is an example why ‘culture eats business strategy for breakfast’.
It doesn’t matter whether you regard yourself as being in a Small Business, a Company or even part of a larger corporate entity. In all these different-sized businesses, they will have an organisational culture among their team. The question is; “Are you proactively creating & nurturing your organisational culture, or are you reactively being affected by it? Either way, your organisational culture is always being shaped and formed. You just have to decide to either nurture your organisational culture or do nothing and take what’s coming to you.
A Great Organisational Culture Empowers You To Be The Best!
Have you ever wondered how a little country, New Zealand, with a total pool of registered Rugby players of approximately 120,000 players, can produce the most successful Sports Team in the entire history of Global Sport? More successful than any of the famous Soccer, Cricket, Basketball, American Football, Baseball, Formula One Racing or Ice Hockey Teams, which we have all heard of. In fact, more successful than any of the sporting franchises worldwide! It all comes down to one word – ‘Culture’ and there is so much for us to learn from this amazing sporting accolade, which we too can put into practice in both business and life.
During The entire New Zealand ‘All Blacks’ 100 year history, the All Blacks have won over 75% of their matches – that is an amazingly consistent stat over 100 years! More recently since the 1990’s this has climbed to over 85% – even more amazing when the world is supposed to be learning from each other! So what can we learn from the New Zealand All Blacks about organisational culture in business and life?
The All Blacks Culture: A Blend of Tradition and Excellence
Tradition and Identity
At the heart of the All Blacks culture is a deep respect for tradition and identity. The team’s haka, a traditional Maori war dance, is more than a pre-game ritual; it embodies the team’s heritage and unity. This respect for cultural roots fosters a strong sense of belonging and pride among the players.
High Standards and Accountability
The All Blacks operate under a principle famously known as “No Dickheads.” This rule underscores the importance of character over talent. Every team member is expected to uphold the highest standards of behavior and performance, fostering an environment of mutual accountability.
A key aspect of the All Blacks’ philosophy is the concept of ‘Whakapapa,’ which emphasizes the legacy and continuous improvement. Players are seen as stewards of the jersey, responsible for enhancing its value for future generations.
Like the All Blacks, small businesses can benefit from cultivating a strong team identity. This involves creating a sense of belonging and aligning the team with core values and a shared mission. Every Business should recognise that building a Team that adopts a Winning Organisational Culture is the major cornerstone to building a great business and a fantastic brand
Setting High Standards
Small businesses can adopt the “No Dickheads” policy by prioritizing character and cultural fit during hiring. This approach ensures that the team comprises individuals who not only have the skills but also share the company’s values.
Embracing Continuous Improvement
Small businesses should adopt a mindset of continuous improvement, always striving to better their services, products, and internal processes. This approach encourages innovation and adaptability, key drivers of long-term success.
Applying All Blacks Principles in Small Businesses
Establish Clear Values and Rituals
Just like the All Blacks’ haka, small businesses can establish rituals or practices that reinforce their values and culture. This could be regular team meetings, community involvement, or unique office traditions.
Foster a Culture of Leadership
In the All Blacks team, every member is a leader. Small businesses can emulate this by empowering employees at all levels to take initiative and make decisions, fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility.
Focus on Team Over Individual
The All Blacks culture emphasizes the team over the individual. In a small business setting, this translates to promoting collaboration, sharing successes, and ensuring that no one is left behind.
Build Through Great Coaches and Mentors
Every Sports Team has a Coach and works with Mentors, the same is true of Businesses too. You just need to find a Coach or Mentor that fits in with your developmental needs. Speak with us at Libabun.com about your needs to grow your business and build a winning organisational culture and a great team. Book a 15-minute call to initially discuss your needs and let’s see if and how we could help you.
The All Blacks’ remarkable success is a powerful example of how a strong and well-defined culture can lead to outstanding results. Small businesses, by embracing these cultural principles, can create a cohesive, resilient, and high-performing team capable of achieving great success. The All Blacks remind us that in the realm of sports or business, culture is the cornerstone of triumph.