Get rhythm, get successful
BBC Radio 4’s Thinking Aloud, presented by Laurie Taylor, talked recently about the secret to the success of great sporting performance: rhythm. The section of the programme focussed on how Cambridge University rowers determined, eventually on the right line up for their final eight man squad and which set up delivered the crucial ingredient of rhythm.
Because rhythm equals success.
If you’ve been in a rowing boat you might well have experienced a rocking motion; the stop start progress of an unbalanced boat. Watch clips of Redgrave and Pinsent et al, or the Oxbridge annual races and you might see something different. It is difficult to define, but rhythm propels the boat forward: it is crew in unison, moving, flowing elastically as one unit delivering power to the oars to propel the boat over 2,000m in around six minutes.
Get it wrong and you know all about it. You lose; you fall apart as a unit.
The point of Thinking Aloud was that it is not all about the best athletes being selected, but the best unit. The unit, team, crew or partnership that works the best is based around ability for sure – but the rhythm will come from confidence in the people around you. You might not need to get along socially, but you need mutual respect and faith.
Teams with rhythm, or teams that get rhythm – in sport and in business – do things naturally. The communication is intuitive, the integration fluid, the performance almost automaton – moving as a collective (yes, almost Borg like) to success.
Teams that do not have this fall apart; limping along, fragmented, failing, arguing. You see it at every weekend in football, rugby and the team sports around the UK’s playing fields. If you’re in business – especially in communications and HR you can sense it. If you’re a decent manager you can see, feel, touch and if you’re lucky do something about it. Like get some rhythm by reorganising the team, setting different objectives and creating a bit of harmony among the various individuals.
So, go get some rhythm – if you’ve got the blues.