Tag Archives: hybrid vigour

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.

Mandelson. An experiment in hybrid vigour?

Yesterday at around 7.30, coming out of my local newsagent,  I  had to  pause to avoid an early morning jogger.  In his now trademark black shorts and vest, it was David Cameron, looking fit and moving at a good pace.

This was not, it seemed to me, someone running for the photo opportunity.  There was no entourage. This was someone, like many in high pressure jobs, running to stay fit.  The fitter you are the more energy you have and right now Cameron, and his team, exude more of it than Gordon Brown’s team.  One of the reasons they are more attractive to more people.

In one of the best practice guides on this site, Managing Energy, I look at ways at ‘amplifying’ energy.  One of them reads: “Consider introducing ‘hybrid vigour’, the concept of cross-fertilisation for enhanced performance in breeding.  In teams, changing the mix of people can re-invigorate.”

Could the introduction of Peter Mandelson be an experiment in hybrid vigour?  However much he polarises opinon,  he will undoubtedly bring new energy to the Cabinet, something sorely needed.