Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rowing Your Own Boat

I happened across a little documentary over the weekend about the history of New Zealand rowing.

Hosted by the world champion men's pair Eric Murray and Hamish Bond, it gave some interesting insights into performance culture and talent development.

One part of the story that struck me was the rationale behind New Zealand Rowing shifting their focus from large, eight-man boats to smaller, single sculls and pairs (I don't know much about rowing so I hope I've got the terms right). Basically, it was the discovery of world and Olympic champion, Rob Waddell

Rob Waddell was far outperforming all the other rowers and his talent would have been lost in a team of eight. So they put him in his own boat where he could excel.

There are times in an organisation when you need to follow the slowest ship but to achieve true excellence and top levels of performance, you can't be afraid to let your stars shine. I don't think companies do a very good job of this and it leads to frustration, staff turnover and tolerance of mediocrity. It leads to a culture of 'average' as everyone has to plod along in the middle of the bellcurve.

Team work and stakeholder management and consultation are important but don't be afraid of a little competition and letting people win. Otherwise everyone loses.

Maybe there are some people in your organisation that need to be given their own boat?

Posted via email from cjlambert's posterous

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