News

Team spirit is an illusion glimpsed in the aftermath of victory... or is it?

16 March 2015

This statement, first uttered by ex-Spurs and Barcelona striker Steve Archibald, has once again received an airing alongside the current England cricket team woes. It is a cynical sentiment, highlighting a belief that individuals are fundamentally selfish. It makes an assumption that victory is not the result of cohesive team effort. It suggests, instead, that victory brings the victors together in celebration, creating the illusion of team spirit.

I take exception to this cynicism. Camaraderie is certainly highest when celebrating success, but in team sports and in business, success depends on team spirit.

In a business sense, victory can be defined as achieving the business objectives, targets or goals. It is impossible to see how this can be done without great team work from the outset. In my view, there are three main reasons why a business performs better when it manages a team approach effectively.

  1. Multi-skilled. A well-picked team delivers a diversity of skills and experience. Together they can respond intelligently to diverse and complex challenges, problems, and opportunities.
  2. Improved productivity. Individuals who trust and rely on each other take responsibility for their own allotted tasks. With well-defined and measurable team objectives, this means that “many hands make light work”.
  3. Improved profitability. Efficient teams achieve significant gains in speed, quality and productivity for certain multi-faceted projects.

There is no doubt that poorly conceived and poorly managed teams create more ill will and disappointing performance than they are worth. There are also some tasks much better suited to completion by an individual. But what is not in doubt, something that we have direct experience of here at Total Systems, is that effective teams deliver significant achievements.

It is true that defeat can destroy a fragile or illusory team spirit. And victory does indeed make a team feel better, justified and more confident. But I believe that a strong team spirit contributes more to victory than vice versa.

Latest Blogs

2017

October

What does the future hold for commercial insurance?

September

Insurance is changing – time to adapt and survive

August

Does AI deserve the headlines?

May

Seeing through the eyes of the customer

April

Insurance technology – simplify the complex

March

InsurTech, ignore it at your peril!

2016

December

It’s Crystal-Ball Gazing Time Again

November

How ready are you to combat fraud?

October

Actions speak louder than words

September

Efficiency, agility, and profitability

How can you be more customer-centric?

August

Old Technologies - It is OK to plug the gaps

New Technologies - Same Old Systems

June

Running to stand still

May

Is your business ready to adapt?

March

No, seriously, what can you claim about your claim systems?

What can you claim about your claim systems?

February

It's people that have the ideas

January

Separating the Movers from the Shakers in 2016

2015

November

The challenge to be different – it’s all about the people

September

Security, Simplicity and Speed - the future of Financial Services

July

The New Breed of Quote and Rating Modules

June

INSURANCE INNOVATION SUMMIT 2015 - Hosted by Ingenin Ltd

April

Speed and Personalisation – aspiration or reality?

March

Team spirit is an illusion glimpsed in the aftermath of victory... or is it?

January

David or Goliath?

2014

December

What's your New Year resolution? Here are three of ours

November

2014 Insurance Technology Event - Championing Innovation - Hosted by Post Events

The maverick in the ranks - how do we deal with the talented non-conformist?

September

Are you Responsible, Chilled, Sociable, or Happy?

August

A Customer for Life

July

Being different

June

Cloud computing – a huge opportunity for the Insurance Industry

May

Past failure is a threat to future success

April

It isn’t broken yet - is change too risky?

March

Today’s word is ENABLE

What is Value for Money?

February

How to make vision a reality – it’s not that difficult

The Challenge IS the Opportunity

January

Instil a culture of innovation and creativity

Three steps to success in 2014

2013

December

What customers want from the Life Insurance industry

Themes from Insurance Strategy Insights event

November

The need for competition

Insight must lead to action

What is disruptive technology?

October

Closing the insurance delivery gap

September

Reliability much more important than price

August

Where has all the creativity and innovation gone?

Is there too much fear in business?

July

"Simplicity" is not as simple as it looks

Time for Innovation

Standing out from the crowd

June

Insurers need to innovate and excite - or die

May

The danger of business inertia

April

The BIG Decisions

The work/life balance

Coping with exploding data

March

Trust and loyalty go hand in hand

February

Bold and brave

January

To stand still is to go backwards

2012

December

The year ahead in Financial Services

Love it or hate it, you can't ignore the influence of Twitter

When is it better to 'start again'?

November

Differentiation is the key

October

Solvency ll - may be delayed but certainly won't go away!

Better by the bundle?

Insurance and the net

Personalised technology

September

USA leads the way

August

Technology gold medals

New is not always better

Stand still and get left behind!

July

Social media blamed for poor data flow

Banks will abandon 50 per cent of branches in 8 years