Teamwork. Has your company not understood the lesson yet?
Many years ago a school trainer invented a game called boxing basketball.
He put a bucket full of boxing gloves in the middle of the court. Each of his eight-year-old players was told to select a glove. The rules were simple: normal basketball with one exception. The player who had the ball could be hit as long as he held on to the ball.
The coach purpose was to teach teamwork and the importance of collaboration to move with agility and effectiveness in the court to win the game.
The longer you stay with the ball, the more hits you get. Each player could choose to put the glove on his strong hand or his weak hand. There were advantages and disadvantages.
With the glove in the strong hand, the player would hit hard but it would be more difficult to play with the ball. If he put the glove on his weak hand, he would be good passing, dribbling and shooting to score points. However, with the glove in the weak hand, he would not hit hard.
At the beginning, most of the children put the glove on their good hand. Hitting was his choice. The kids just did not get it.
After a while, some players realized that…
Therefore, those willing to win started to change hands.
Teams with more players with strong free hands began to win teams full of punchers. They moved the ball, avoided most of the punches and scored most of the points, while the punchers chased the ball around the court, trying to stand next to those who had the ball to hit them.
In the end, two types of teams were clearly differentiated: shooters and punchers. The shooters got together with the shooters and the punchers with the punchers. Shooters always won the games. After many games, most children understood it and there were nine teams of shooters and a single team of punchers. It was not that the punchers could not become shooters. They just preferred punching to winning.
Most eight-year-olds understood that in order to win, they had to collaborate, avoid individualism, move in a synchronized way, lead the movement of the ball, anticipate the opposite and score.
Although initially it might seem much more comfortable to chase and hit the contrary, they learned that to enjoy and win they had to play together and unleash the potential of the skills that enabled them to win.
My question is:
Has your company not understood the lesson yet?
Jonathan Escobar Marin
Jonathan Escobar Marin is Director, Global Head of Lean Management at HARTMANN Group in Germany, co-founder and Partner of the firm High-Performance Organization Global Alliance and co-founder and CEO of Inn—Be, a start-up dedicated to High-Performance Education.