Tag Archives: casting

Hybrid vigour in team selecton.

It was Gregor Mendel(1822-1884) who first understood the concept of hybrid vigour as the “increased vigour displayed by offspring from different varieties”.  He might not have described the coalition this way but so far one of its key characteristics is energy, arguably more than a single party would have given us.


The cross-fertilsation of talents  in the cabinet in this honeymoon period is proving to be positive, energetic and dynamic. The signals it is sending out are all ‘can-do’ and this right now transcends political differences.

Put another way, they have got the casting right something pitch teams too often get wrong,

The team decision is vital and yet can fall into the trap of selection through convenient availablity, or they deserve a chance, or  or they won last time, or they know the prospect or…Whereas, the only criterion is who are the best team to win the business?

The team will need relevant experience, good people chemistry and pitching ability. All three skills may not reside in any one member but the team must have all three. Sometimes the way to achieve this is to apply the concept of hybrid vigour.

It works in football! Inter Milan won with a Portugese manager and no Italians in their team beating Bayern with a Dutch manager and few Germans. The English yeomen are hoping an Italian manager can invigorate them in the World Cup.

Pit(ch)fall 3. Casting based on input not impact.

Most pitches call for a response to a brief in the form of a written proposal, followed by a presententation to the key decision takers. Typically, the proposal is developed by the appropriate experts and specialists  working night and day to deliver a great result.

So far so good. The common error, however,  when it comes to deciding who will present  in the final  shoot out, is to assume these same people should, and/or deserve  to present . Not so.

What matters is not the input of these people but what the audience ‘takes out’, what is their emotional response, on the day, to the presenters as individuals and as a team.  The casting decision must be lead by   understanding of the audience dynamics and the  need to be ruthless in casting the team that will perform best on the day.

Some ‘rules’.  Don’t outnumber the client by more than one;  your leader must be seen to lead; the team  should be  a balance of interesting, contrasting individuals rather than  a collection of experts.  You are seeking the reaction that ‘ we would enjoy, and be stimulated, working with these people and they clearly get on with each other’.

 The London 2012 Bid team cast for impact when they included  thirty youngsters in place of VIPs;   ex-prison officer Ray Lewis is interesting  casting by Boris that suggests he will  not be afraid to surround himself with personalities.  Could Obama, if he wins, select Clinton as running mate? That would be interesting casting.