As the political parties start their final jockeying for favour, leading up to the election, team selection (as it is for Capello) becomes critical. It will not be enough to have well qualified individuals in the line-ups. What will matter is their chemistry.
Do we like them? Do they like each other? Are they an attractive interesting team? Basic gut instinct can overule our political sensibility, particularly when real differences are few. As they usually are in the business pitch.
Many many pitches, across all sorts of business areas, end up with a team of three to six people, presenting to a similiar number, for around 45 minutes. However heavy the documented proposal, however intense the build-up, these few minutes are often what determine the result.
Fast, instinctive reaction to the team, and how they come across in those precious minutes, lead decisions. Casting is critical to positive chemistry. They have asked to ‘meet the team’, but what do you do if you have someone who, on paper, is by far the best qualified but who comes across poorly in meetings?
The tough decision must be faced. Who will win the business on the day?
Any response will be emotional. Chemistry will matter and, generally is more positive where the team is made -up of interesting, different and contrasting personalities.
Ten years ago Blair, Prescott and Brown were such a team. Today neither Cameron’s Notting Hill Gate set nor the brothers Milliband or the Balls couple, for Labour, offer such contrast.
In reality, most companies will not have a cast of hundreds to choose from. What they can, and, if they want to win, must do is work on the chemistry of the team they have got. Use rehearsals to improve performances and confidence. Have an objective rehearsor as you try out different approaches to create interest, surprise, engagement and interaction.
The result can be spontaneous combustion on the day!