|Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 10
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CHANGE YOUR GAME AT THE TOP OF YOUR GAME (GRAHAM HENRY PART 2)
The "All Blacks" (started in 1902) are New Zealand's national rugby team; they have won the Rugby World Cup three times and hold a lifetime winning percentage of 77% - the highest of any professional sports team in the world.
The All Blacks approach to constant aggressive change, improvement and adaptability, while in the middle of dominating their sport, bears a striking resemblance to John Wooden's UCLA Bruins and Bill Belichick's New England Patriots.
Coach Wooden won ten National Championships with five different offensive systems, all grounded in great fundamentals, but reconfigured every two years adapting to new players and their unique talents. Coach Belichick is renowned for winning Super Bowls and then reconfiguring his roster to accommodate salary cap and talent demands. By "Changing their game while at the top of their game", these teams avoided the "S Curve" which most teams and businesses endure.
In his book Legacy, What The All Blacks Can Teach Us About The Business Of Life, James Kerr expands on the idea:
"Though it is tempting to see life, business, society and success as part of a linear progression of constant and never-ending refinement and growth, the opposite is true. Like most things in nature, cultures are subject to a more cyclical process, of ebb and flow, growth and decline.
According to Charles Handy's famous Sigmoid Curve (S Curve) this cycle has three distinct phases: Learning, Growth and Decline.
In the Learning Phase, we often experience dips in actual performance as we feel our way through the unfamiliar. Then once the learning has become embedded and momentum builds, so growth accelerates.
This is the Growth Phase. Rewards follow. Soon we're on top of the game and on top of the world. We're invincible, our success assured. And then begins the Fall. The Decline Phase."
When most groups reach the peak of their growth, they enjoy a comfortable period on a plateau. While on the plateau they may try to refine their processes but don't make any radical changes until performance starts to decline. Great groups are constantly evolving and engaging their team members in well thought out, organized, necessary and tested change processes, not constant reactionary changes to decline with "ideas of the month."
Great teams make changes well before they reach the plateau. They change while on their way up the growth curve (75 to 80% up is said to be ideal) and start a new S curve rather than waiting for decline. Great teams are proactive not reactive. I would highly recommend you Google: Sigmoid Curve.
"It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change." – Charles Darwin
Are you resting on a plateau or "Changing your game at the top of your game"?
Yours in Coaching,
The Time for Brotherhood
When a fellow's feeling blue,
Edgar Allen Guest (1881-1959)
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