With back-to-back Ashes looming and England favourites for a change, you gotta love this story.
After getting walloped in the first two Tests by India, the Australian squad were requireded to prepare for a presentation to management. They were asked to detail how they could improve. Four declined to partake. Including star and senior players. And have been chopped as a result. Brilliant. Twitter reaction chortles along too.
Aussie pundit rants – in the form of former player incredulity – has been predictable. And utterly misguided.
It’s as if none of those pundits have ever been in a team wishing to improve.
Let’s look at the simple request. And bear in mind they had four days to sort it out, in all manner of ways.
I wanted three points from each of them technically, mentally and team as to how we were going to get back
This doesn’t sound far removed from what a sales manager might desire in the wake of a low-to-middling Month.
And I also agree that non-compliance is indeed a potential “line-in-the-sand moment”. If you’re not on board, if you don’t buy into the whole team direction, then the laziness-cum-absence of your response speaks volumes. For two to forget completely is inexcusable. For the vice-captain to neglect it is astounding.
If I was being purely stereotypical on this, I’d posit that when this kind of thing is done inside a sales team, if anyone was going to ignore the instruction, it’d be one of the top performers. Many in such heights like to be seen as maverick. Outside the rest of the group. Different, verging on the disdainful.
Let’s say you are a sales manager and want to gauge how your team members really feel. This is precisely the kind of exercise that could reveal true attitudes.
Given that the South African coach of the Aussies even let them respond via SMS, completing the same three questions could be done in advance of the next monthly forecast review fairly easily.
For “technically, mentally and team”, it’s not a stretch to swap in synonyms from the sales arena if you prefer. But for me these three ably suffice.
Technically refers to any aspect of sales aptitude. Mentally covers any personal attitude. Team obviously relates to anything from the broader corporate framework.
And when you get the answers, they’ll also make great discussion points for the next group sales team meeting. Keep them anonymous, promote those positive actions and track the results.
It might not help you wrestle back The Ashes, but you’ll make a better fist of it than if you carry on regardless.