There is only one winner in competitive sport, at the end of the day. But every single team that competes for the title, takes back lessons as rich and useful (if not more), as the winning side.
The Women’s World Cup 2017, while marking a watershed moment in the history of women’s cricket, also provided several instances where one could build analogies and extend the principles of excellence for a cricket team, to organizations. Here are the key takeaways that the Women’s Cricket World Cup had on offer, for the world of business:-
Skills can only take you so far, temperament is what is needed
In the final, after restricting England to 228, the Indian team was poised to take home the Cup, with 38 runs to score in 44 balls, and seven wickets in hand. But the lack of experience at the big stage came back to hurt India as they were unable to soak in the pressure, and lost the last seven wickets for just 28 runs.
In the corporate world, most individuals today are armed with the skills they need to reach the zenith. It is their temperament, though that ends up becoming the deciding factor for their success. The ones who are able to keep their head, and perform equally well in all situations and environments, are primed to stand out.
The power of a team
Even though cricket is a team sport, many teams often rely on individual brilliance to perform to potential. The Indian cricket team’s victories, however, were a result of collective efforts, as is evidenced by the fact there were five different ‘Players of the Match’ from India, for their six victories in the World Cup.
It goes without saying that team work is of the essence, in achieving any organizational milestone; and teams need their members to put their hands up and be counted, in crunch situations.
Breaking the glass ceiling
Cricket was the only team sport in which the women’s version was lagging behind, in terms of fan following and audience viewership. The 2017 World Cup changed that, and how!
The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that more than 50 million people watched the group stage matches on TV, and over 75 million views were recorded for official ICC video content itself. The tickets for the final at Lord’s were sold out in advance, and around 2 million viewers watched it on the popular video-streaming website Hotstar; higher than the viewership garnered by many IPL and other men’s cricket matches.
If there ever was a doubt about the business viability of women’s cricket, it was dispelled completely in this tournament.
One could easily draw parallels to organizations to argue that the business imperatives for having women on board have always been clear; the only aspect that has been found wanting, is the intent of the organizations.
Leaders who lead from the front - Jhulan and Mithali
The responsibility of steering this largely inexperienced Indian squad towards its goal was shouldered by Jhulan Goswami and Mithali Raj, the leading wicket-taker and run scorer in the history of women ODI cricket, respectively.
Setting an example for the young middle order, Mithali amassed 409 runs in the tournament, including three half centuries and a hundred; providing stability and a sense of calm to the Indian batting.
Jhulan spearheaded the bowling attack and scalped 10 wickets overall, with her incisive spell in the final being instrumental in bringing India to a position of dominance in the game.
Every organization needs leaders, who can not only mentor their teams adroitly, but also step up and perform themselves, whenever the need arises.
Diversity in the team
The Indian squad for the World Cup was comprised by an eclectic mix of players, each of whom brought a different set of skills and personalities to the table. While the 19-year-old Deepti Sharma picked up wickets at regular intervals and also chipped in with useful runs, Harmanpreet Kaur imbued the much-needed firepower to the Indian batting, with her remarkable ability to hit sixes almost at will. In short, every player had a distinct role to play, or a void to fill in the Indian side.
This underscores the importance of optimally delineating roles and responsibilities of each employee, for large conglomerates; as they have numerous functions and roles for each business line, and may not focus on defining the importance of each employee’s contribution to the overall company strategy. This is an exercise which is critical to boosting the employees’ morale, and making them feel involved, so as to function like a vital cog in the smoothly spinning wheel.