Every now and then a cricketing term escapes it boundaries and enters the general psyche. Even those with little knowledge of the great game will likely have heard the euphonious leather-on-willow parlance of 'a sticky wicket', 'googly' or 'out for a duck' in everyday talk.
To which do we today add the sobriquet, Bazball?
Depending upon who regales you with this new label, it can feature nuance that does not fit. Yet its central theme is of an approach as adapted by the management duo who took over the sorry England team after their latest overseas Australian mauling last year.
Captain Ben Stokes and Coach Brendon McCullum freshly appointed on a ticket of change. The cricket skipper, if unfamiliar to you, is pretty much unique in global sport as being both 'manager' and 'player'. The pair seemingly looking to rewrite the long-form version of the sport's rulebook.
They sought to remove the fear of failure. Seen as suffocating performance. Preventing talent from expressing itself and truly shine. Replacing it with a freedom to play the game in the way that brings the best out of you. All wrapped in an attacking mindset.
It is this former function that has the old guard in a twist.
Focused, lest we forget, on being successful, one tenet writ large reads; run towards the danger.
This got derided. Yet elite performance life has moved on from the confines of yesteryear.
When this becomes a recklessness, defeat unfurls. It is about controlled aggression. Do what the opposition least likes, and it comes off, undoubtedly puts you in charge. And that is putting them under pressure. Nothing inherently new there. It is the manner of execution that radically differs now.
Too often in the past, England teams would be timid. clinging on to survive, only to ultimately fall. When this becomes the default, you cannot be valiant heroes.
Now, if someone tries something and it doesn't come off, the message is usually, 'do it again'.
So different to my early cubrep days, where experimentation was verboten. Crazy, considering that refinement of process, with the constant testing of new ideas, is the true path to quota-busting superstardom.
Yes, in this Summer's Ashes, England's approach verged on the foolhardy during a couple of pivotal moments early in. And yes, these now feel like costing them The Urn (the coveted trophy). Yet over the drawn five-match series (and their 25 match days of scheduled play) they were overwhelmingly the ones seeking to push, to make things happen, and were the better side. Clearly spooking the old-school Aussies.
You might say that moral victories count for little in sport. But not in this case. The game's got shook up. Fanbase re-invigorated and grown. With England at the vanguard. Now widely praised.
In solution selling, we definitely have our equivalent.
The aforementioned process refinement being core. The strive to show your authentic self. The displeasure of loss sought to be removed by pursuing your goal in noticeable style.
You can gauge its success by the fact that the phrase Bazball gets cited far beyond cricket. Recently, from as varied as advice to economic policy makers, for business leaders and through to management styles.
Coinage was courtesy of the coach's nickname. Yet given your team and audience may be outside of cricket's enchantment, you could swap out either syllable for one of your own.
You could say, 'let's Bazball'. With all the swashbuckling fearlessness, freedom, and fun that may entail.
Or you could name your vibe [___]-ball or Baz-[___]. Like I've done with my above post title using the latter.
Teams are picked because of what people can do on their best days. Then given the space to play in the way most likely to bring that out. Yes, there'll be failures. But successes will flow. Success far beyond and more frequent any traditional methods may have brought.
Can you ride the same wave?