In a perceptive article a couple of years ago Martin Jones, writing in Campaign magazine, said that three questions were uppermost in client’s minds when assessing a pitch. Since, as head of the AAR, he had been on the receiving end of some 600 pitches, helping clients through the selection process, his opinions are worth listening to. The three questions:
“Do I like these people?” “How hungry are they for my business?” ”How much do they like each other?” It is the last of these that is often overlooked.
Generally members of a team do get on, one hopes, but what matters is how they are perceived on the pitch. One of the commonest problems is when individuals “identify more with the functional area they come from than they identify with the team”.* In football it is Barcelona more than any other that harnesses great skill as a team. They are not a bunch of disconnected talented stars.
In a competitive pitch, when the adrenaline is flowing, it is easy for functional specialists to wax lyrical on their ‘chosen subject’, not realising how the perception of team, and the ‘liking of each other’, will suffer.
In practice, particularly when team members from different disciplines may not know each other well, the solution is decent rehearsal time with an ‘outsider’ looking for evidence of teamwork . Remember that “none of us is as smart as all of us”.(Ken Blanchard)
*This reference taken from the book– Team Talk, by Anne Donnellon