– Cecilia Robinson & Sir Graham Henry
Anthony and I had the privilege of attending the Unfiltered: Team, Culture and Diversity event. It would be understatement to say that we weren’t expecting the amount of valuable information we experienced over the day.
In the final post of the Unfiltered Series, I’ll cover our learnings from Cecilia Robinson, the co-founder of My Food Bag, which has gone from $0 to $100 million in revenue in 3 years. I’ll also go over some of the key points from Sir Graham Henry, the World Cup-winning coach of the All Blacks, who believes that culture is key to success.
Cecilia Robinson followed Kevin Roberts’ point of doing away with standard business language in the way her business talked about both their team. In her eyes, Robinson believed revolutions started with language. That’s why Robinson labelled their customer support team their “customer love” team. It makes a big difference when your job is to give love, rather than support. It helps change the internal mindset of your business.
An important part of Robinson’s role is to instil leadership as a quality in all their people. Key ways to approach this was focussing on listening to your team, recognising their efforts and place in your business and learning what you could from them. Recognition has become a hallmark of My Food Bag’s culture. Their Friday team get-togethers involved giving everyone praise for the past week. Robinson believed that as a leader, she had to always be on her game and available – it may be the best part of the day for someone else to interact with you. Focussing on these key points, the core tenets of HR, will help make your business successful.
“Robinson labelled their customer support team their ‘customer love’ team. It makes a big difference when your job is to give love, rather than support.”
Sir Graham Henry, the former All Blacks coach who had one of the most successful tenures in coaching history, had several key elements that went into achieving success.
First and foremost is instilling humbleness into those around him. All the players who were involved in the All Blacks during Henry’s tenure had respect for the jersey and worked hard to enhance the legacy of those who wore it before them. This plays into the motto of “there is no ‘I’ in team”. All decisions were judged by a team first mentality, focussing on what’s good for the team rather than the individual.
A flow-on effect of ensuring the team were humble was there were no excuses allowed. The All Blacks didn’t blame anyone else for certain outcomes, they instead moved on from the situation as a team. Henry used the example of questionable penalties, where team members didn’t complain and instead focussed on doing their role.
Knowing your role and what it takes to execute it well was equally important. Henry, as Head Coach, watched probably the most rugby in the whole team. Busy analysing the competition, this helped Henry identify how his side could be the best. Henry established a mindset where the team was process oriented rather than focussing solely on the scoreboard. Being world class at your process sets the strategy free.
“The All Blacks didn’t blame anyone else for certain outcomes, they instead moved on from the situation as a team.”
During Henry’s tenure, the All Blacks implemented a 360° survey for the whole team that made a huge difference. The survey covered what everyone in team believed they needed to keep doing, stop doing, start doing as individuals and as a team. Feedback was given by each team member and their thoughts were valuable beyond belief. Henry highlighted that this change in focus, where the All Blacks concentrated on process rather than constantly thinking about the competition, resulted in them blowing teams out of the water they’d struggled to beat previously.
The final lesson I took from Henry was a question regarding my job. Henry asked us to think about what we need to do to learn, to become an expert, and to do our jobs well? While doing this personally, we can simultaneously make others around us better. Both will make our company better in the end.
It was an absolute privilege to attend the Unfiltered: Team, Culture and Diversity event. The amount that both Anthony and I have taken away from the day is phenomenal, and we’re excited to implement some of the learnings and help make Firefly the best it can be.
If you’re interested in reading about the first of our Unfiltered series, we covered Kevin Roberts, the Chairman of Unfiltered.
If you’re interested in reading about the second of our Unfiltered series, we covered Annette Presley & Rob Fyfe.