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Coming down from the Kiwi fairy tale that may have been our most joyful sporting campaign ever we have the opportunity to reflect on what made this such a successful campaign.

Did New Zealand get to the World Cup Final simply on the back of passion or team work? No chance!

The team had a clear vision of reaching the final and they had a meticulous plan to reach their vision and they communicated to all bringing an entire nation along with them. So what were some of the elements that made this such a successful campaign that saw New Zealand rise from a ranking of eighth in the world to being one win away from being champions of the world?

  • Clear vision – with a clear belief that they could make the final event Mike Hesson and the senior Black Caps management had the Blackcaps visiting the World Cup Final venue, the Melbourne Cricket Ground in November 2014.  They would have been setting the vision for what they want as well as getting familiar with the environment they would have to perform in when they reached the final.
  • Performance preparation – Preparations for World cup began as soon as Mike Hesson took over the reins as New Zealand coach. The focus on the underlying quality of the players ensured that everyone was able to play at their peak and keep the same unit together throughout the competition.  Dan Vettori was fitter at 36 that when playing as a 20 year old.
  • Right people in the right seats – right up until the selection of the squad when Grant Elliot was selected from the wilderness, a clear understanding of the personnel requirements to deliver the team strategy and careful analysis of performance and character requirements saw a team constructed who were more than capable of delivering on plans and so cohesive that the only changes have been for injury.
  • Culture – Brendan McCullum embodied a winning culture underpinning a clear plan.  No one is bigger than the team and sadly one cannot imagine Jesse Rider fitting into this environment.  The Blackcaps built a culture that everyone bought into and would not have been possible to play the aggressive style of game the Black Caps adopted (and in one tournament changed the way one day cricket is played globally).
  • Communication – The Black Caps took the whole country with them.  They generated clear support for their new approach and the whole country knew what they were aiming to achieve. They had a very clear values system that reflected the culture of the country they represent and way they want to play and squad and management were on message 24/7  –  Infact any Kiwi fan could have addressed  a press conference and been on message for the Black Caps.

These are just a few takeaways that apply to any team in sport, business or other team organisations.  What other lessons could we learn from the wonderful ride with the #BlackCaps?

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