Sir Clive Woodward, an inspirational and innovative Rugby coach, took on a real challenge in his contentious role as the British Olympic Association Director of Sport. Without treading on toes of some outstanding National Association coaches such as athletic’s Charles Van Commenee, he was charged with adding a competitive edge to what is now known as “Team GB”.
Linked by sometimes slight British qualification, this team spans competitors in events that are supremely individual, like athletics and swimming, to genuine team sports like hockey, to manufactured ones (under 23 soccer featuring 38 year old Beckham ?) and ones that are overt IOC television ratings eye candy, like Beach Volleyball (female).
Undaunted, Woodward has identified that a common factor that can contribute to success is a team ethos, with defined values. To give this more of a sound bite, given that communication is an all important ‘Olympic’ event, he has given this concept a new word, “TEAMSHIP”. The values around which the team ‘can now unite and focus’ are Performance, Pride, Respect, Unity and Responsibility.
Whether or not Teamship will prevent Jessica Ennis clipping a hurdle, Woodward’s premise is sound. Drawing from his experience not just in sport but in the corporate world, he understands better than most that competitive organisations are typified with a strong culture and team ethos. Teams pitching for such companies tend to win more often!