Want To Field A Winning Team? Try Equality

Two organizational behaviour professors have come up with what they call a simple but nonetheless magical formula for putting together a winning team. The two, Roderick Swaab of the INSEAD Business School in Singapore, and Adam Galinsky of Columbia Business School in New York City, studied FIFA data from 199 national football teams (“soccer” to those of you living in the land mass between Canada and Mexico) between 2006 – the date the world football organization introduced more precise ranking metrics – and 2011.

Swaab and Galinsky’s research makes a strong case for supporting egalitarian measures as part of a winning strategy whether on the field or in the corporate or even political arena. “More egalitarian countries …open opportunities for all parts of society and motivate those people to do well,” they write. Their most insightful comment is about what happens when we do not let some people play in the team - “More hierarchical countries likely create inefficiencies as certain groups and individuals never get the opportunity to fulfil their potential or have their motivation undermined”. At the Diversity & Innovation Company we specialise in creating self-awareness and empathy within business leaders – so that they do actively seek out the contribution which people who are different can make to business success.

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