As we deep dive into the festive season, navigating a calendar dominated by Christmas parties and New Year celebrations, what are my reflections on the year past?
In today’s blog post, I recall some of my professional/personal “Favourites Of 2013”. They are all things which have given me personal pleasure throughout the year, and which also have a link to two of my favourite themes – collaboration and high performance teamwork.
Most Exhilarating Live Show of 2013: “Stomp”
Recently I went with Jan and a group of family and friends to see the opening show of Stomp in Auckland. For those unfamiliar with Stomp, it is an incredible stage show based around the concept of creating rhythm-based music using everyday items. It really is a brilliant show - a great mix of music, dance and humour, and I can see why they recently celebrated their 20-year anniversary of impressing audiences worldwide.
The 2-hour show was captivating - it’s very easy to get lost in the music and the performances. Later that night though as I reflected a little more on it, I started to think about the collaborative and teamwork aspects of the show – both onstage and backstage.
The next day I did some reading on the creators of Stomp and the history of their production company. I was impressed by the emphasis that founders Steve McNicholas and Luke Cresswell place on teamwork and collaboration in the creation, production and performance of their shows.
If you’d like to read my further thoughts about the “5 Lessons on Collaboration We Can Learn From Stomp" then click here. I have written a complete article on the topic, however space constraints prevent me from publishing it all in this post today.
Or conversely, simply go and see Stomp yourself when you get the opportunity. It is a night of top quality musical entertainment, a guaranteed great night out, and the collaboration and teamwork on display is world class.
Most Rewarding and Revisited Business Book Of 2013: Great By Choice
Although this book was released in 2011, I am including it in my “Favourites Of 2013” list because I have found myself revisiting it numerous times this year. The concepts and ideas that author Jim Collins explores have really resonated with me as a result of some of the challenges and projects that we’ve undertaken this year within the Team Alchemy Group.
Great By Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck – Why Some Thrive Despite Them All is the sequel to Jim Collins’ previous best-seller Good To Great.
The book is an influential body of work that uses a mixture of empirical evidence and a story-telling format. It uses seven case studies of high performing organisations to answer the question “Why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not?”
The conclusions Collins reaches are equally as interesting as the case studies he uses to draw out his insights; Scott & Amundsen’s race to the South Pole, Apple vs Microsoft, Gillette razors, analysis of global airline industries, the creation of IMAX theatres, a moving mountain rescue and even Abe Lincoln and the US Constitution are but some of the stories Collins canvasses.
For those of you looking for a great read over the Christmas break, I cannot recommend “Great By Choice” highly enough. As a resource for developing high performance teamwork it is a ‘must-have’ on anyone’s work desk. As a page-turner it is equally essential on anyone’s coffee table or under the Christmas tree this festive season.
Most Absorbing Movie of 2013: Beyond The Edge
To most New Zealanders, Sir Edmund Hillary is a national icon. His story is one of a life well lived, full of success and achievement born of determination, will power, dedication, learning and personal transformation. I’ve spent many years reading about his exploits, and so when “Beyond the Edge” came out in 3D in cinemas this year I was there in the front row, and it instantly felt like I was transported into the Himalayas and onto Everest itself!
“Beyond The Edge” recounts one of the most famous feats of adventure pioneering in history – the first successful summiting of Mt Everest.
The movie weaves together original film and photos shot during the 1953 expedition with new footage shot on location in New Zealand’s Southern Alps to recreate some stunning scenes and cinematography which really leave you feeling as if you are in the Himalayas with Hillary, Tensing Norgay and the expedition team.
As well as being an enthralling watch from an entertainment point of view, the movie is an excellent exposé of the high performance teamwork that was on display within John Hunt’s British expedition. I recommend this film highly enough as my “Favourite Movie Of 2013”.
Most Admired Sporting Achievement of 2013: Oracle’s America’s Cup Comeback
At the risk of being labelled unpatriotic, it is hard to go past the phenomenal comeback that Oracle mounted against Team New Zealand during the America’s Cup regatta as one of the most spectacular sporting feats of the year.
Coming back from 1-8 down to win the regatta 9-8 in the end, Oracle got outstanding results from leveraging their synergistic relationships and collaborative spirit.
For a full analysis of exactly how Oracle masterminded one of the greatest comebacks in the history of sport, read my earlier blog post here.
Unfortunately I cannot go into further analysis today - great comeback as it may have been, and regardless of how outstanding the teamwork on display was, I’m still a Kiwi, and it still hurts!
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To all of you who have read and/or participated in the Team Alchemy blogs during 2013 I thank you very much. It has been a pleasure bringing them to you, and the challenge of sourcing and delivering unique content is always a fun challenge.
I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year, time well spent with friends and family and a restful break which leads to a great 2014!
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