I went to the Michigan vs. Ohio game Saturday – while wearing green. There is nothing like college football on a crisp autumn day especially in MSU’s Big 10 stadium. The energy and excitement are palpable. The Green team lost by a (1) point difference, and it came down to a lesson for me in team alignment.
A football team’s alignment between the quarterback and his receivers and running backs is critcal. Peter Senge reminds us that the fundamental characteristic of the unaligned team is wasted energy. (1990, The Fifth Discipline) The stats for the game revealed a clear difference in the teams performance. MSU’s quarterback threw beautiful passes to receivers who could not consistently complete (catch) the ball. Their running game, based on the stats, was rarely utilized.
But, the OSU quarterback was more successful in executing his team’s running game and passing game. In the second half, the OSU team got more aligned and effective by reading the MSU defense – team learning.
“Team learning is aligning capacity of a team to create results”…it creates a shared vision. (1990, The Fifth Discipline) No matter how hard the team works, it requires innovative, coordinate action of members performing their roles.
Did you see the game?
Have you been a part of a high performing team? What was it like?