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The right team for the game


Catherine Wilks continues her game analogy and examines the qualities of a winning team.
Have you ever watched a group of children at play? And in particular how a game just starts from nowhere and develops in to something highly complex, yet highly organised all at the same time.
For example, a game of tick between two children on my street last night enticed others out to play. As more people joined in, hide and seek was added to the game of tick. As the game moved on, characters and roles emerged. Quite organically everyone organised themselves into two tribes on a mission against one another. The game dissolved just as smoothly as it had developed, and everyone went on their way.
This became a team game, and in order for the game to be played- people had to fulfil different tasks. What I find fascinating about watching this type of play is how systems and structures emerge and shift as the game dictates, and players find a way to join in. It also happens quite non-verbally as children strike up a physical conversation that runs like clockwork.
"Business is a team game and in order to play you need the right players for the game."
I am interested in how play changes the way people work together. Business is a team game and in order to play you need the right players for the game. So, working with a playful approach to learning and development makes perfect sense.

11 qualities of the winning team

In this type of play the 'anything is possible play', it enables us to see what makes a team work at its best and put on the best performance.
  1. Whole-hearted - everyone is fully engrossed in what they are doing, nothing else matters, no-one wants to leave and there is nowhere else they would rather be.
  2. Champions - there are some players who 'honk from behind', their job is to keep people motivated, positive and knowing that they can achieve the results.
  3. Challenging - these are the people who will ask 'why are you doing it like that?' They will question you, quiz you and pick. These people keep you working with purpose, and ensures the team are always aware of the bigger picture.
  4. Collaborative - any great team is diverse, and even with this variety it is essential that everyone has the ability to work together. Collaborative players find ways to join in and know how to involve others.
  5. Adaptable - having a team who can keep up to date with what is happening, and respond accordingly ensures that the team are proactive in their decision making.
  6. Problem solving - these people thrive on challenges being set, and often don't even see them. They keep everyone moving forward, and make it easier for everyone to play.
  7. Leaders - there will be some people that others will look to for direction. These people are the ones that have an overall view of what is going on, listen to everyone and make the most of what they have to offer.
  8. Confident - everyone knows exactly why they are doing what they are doing, so they can be confident about the decisions they make. They might look silly on the outside from time to time, but they don't care because they believe in what they are doing.
  9. Rebellious - a team that has some players who are willing to break the rules, push the boundaries and challenge the status quo will keep this team on their toes. They will be innovative and stand out from the crowd.
  10. Covering all bases - some players have a keen eye for detail, they spot when something is missing and often go beyond what is expected of them to make sure quality is at its highest.
  11. Human - all teams and people within a team make mistakes, they are human. It is all about how they pick themselves up and move on.
'A team that plays together stays together'
Catherine Wilks is the founder and director of In Movement and blogs at

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