I hope everyone reading this appreciates just how hard this is for me to write. I am a self-confessed cricket tragic and I love watching a good Test match. I can honestly say that the 4 Test matches between the Australian and Indian men’s teams played this Summer were some of the most gripping and entertaining that I have seen.

For those of you less familiar with cricket, a Test match is the one in all white clothing that goes for 5-days.

Yep, you read that right, 5. Whole. Days!

Anyone can understand the rules of cricket and can also appreciate some of the skill on offer, but the key to Test Match cricket is the strategy and the mental toughness. A true test of a cricketer. Anyway, enough of me geeking out on cricket. The other aspect, apart from the entertaining cricket on display was the amazing team effort of the Indian side that was shown.

I noticed 3 traits in particular that the Indian team showed that I have also seen displayed by businesses that I have come across/been involved with that continue to make them successful:


The Indian team lost their Captain (who is also their best batsman) as well as another key batsman throughout the series, then they also lost not 1, not 2 but around 6 or 7 of their best bowlers. Again, for the non-cricketing fans out there, a team will only have 4 bowlers in their team, so India lost 1.5 x their first-string attacking line-up!

A high-performing company or team are more successful when they have depth in all positions. If for any reason someone leaves the company or the team you need to be able to have people ready to go to replace them or at least cover for them until someone else can move in. This is where workforce planning and succession planning are so important for companies and teams who want to be successful over long periods of time.  Our team have worked with a number of customers on how to do this well. Workforce planning isn’t just something to do during the Christmas break when you have time, it’s vitally important for ongoing success!


Perseverance comes in many forms. Seeing the Indian cricket team win without a number of their best players, and playing in a very difficult environment (beating Australia in Australia has proven extremely difficult for a lot of visiting teams over the years), was inspiring to see. There were two occasions in particular that India should have lost and history, odds and popular opinion said that they had no chance of beating Australia. But they stuck to their plans, backed each other and concentrated on their jobs, and the process, to eventually get the job done.

Similarly, in the commercial world, companies set in place strategies and processes in order to be successful. There are numerous times where circumstances will change and success as a team may seem unlikely, however, sticking to the process and not letting excuses get in the way can help teams to overcome adversity. Yes, being agile and being able to adapt those processes is important too, but, having a plan to persevere with and goals to work towards will help keep clarity for all involved.

Trust in your teammates:

The Indian cricket team showed trust in their teammates’ abilities all throughout the series and in important moments in each game. Trusting that their fellow players would do their job and would come through with the goods, even though some of them were on debut, was impressive to see. Albeit frustrating to watch as an Aussie!

I think that Trust is something that is often related predominantly to in sporting teams and organisations. However, trust in your teammates is equally important for any business and department regardless of the industry. I am often told by candidates that a collaborative working environment and strong communication within a team are important aspects when choosing a new role.  This all builds trust, allows individuals to succeed, and allows the team to prosper.

It is rare that I am allowed to indulge my love of Test cricket and pass it off as work, but this Test series between the Australian and Indian men’s cricket teams was one to remember. There were plenty of arguments as to why it happened and who should be to blame on the Australian side, but I think that the credit needs to go to the Indian team, more so than blame thrown at Australia.

I imagine the scenes in the Indian dressing rooms after the series would have been fairly happy to say the least, and if you include these three traits in your own team/business you will foster an environment of success and positivity.

If you need help when it comes to workforce planning and succession planning, simply contact us.

If you like reading our Oblog, check out our previous blog, “Goal Setting for 2021

Isaac Dufficy
Executive Consultant – Group Solutions

Photo source: india.com

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