Management Thoughts … Chak De!


A lot has been said about the teamwork ethos that Chak De! brings out. The movie is about the coach bringing together a set of individuals, who play good hockey, and transforms them into a team. There are 16 girls, who are slated to play for India at the Women’s Hockey World Cup (Melbourne). How a set of individuals evolves into a world beater team. An amazing movie, and quite interesting, too. There are, however, a few things I wanted to write … Add to the cacophony, you might say!

While the movie brings out the ethos of teamwork, and how, a set of individuals, working towards a common goal, can achieve anything, as can be seen by India beating Australia, and picking the World Cup, there are a few things which also must be considered.

First, is the leader, in this example, the coach. A brilliant man, who understands that the entire team needs to work as a single unit. That even the most experienced player must sit out a few matches, if that is going to help the team win. In other words, get the team to put the team above the individuals. However, this is easier said than done, and what a lot of folks have commented on this, ignores the fact that this can be done only, and only by developing passionate resolve. This kind of passionate resolve is usually lacking in most organizations, and a lot of leaders, while singing odes to teamwork, dont invest too much of their emotional capital into developing passion.

Another thing which needs to be brought out … Individual brilliance. This is a given in a national team, where the best of the best come together, to play for the nation. Having said that, there is one lesson which we might want to consider … In organizations, today, the command and control aspect of mangement is fast losing its way, and is being replaced by a more “democratized” way of doing things. Gone are the days when the managers were supposed to know everything, and the others were supposed to just follow. This is something coach Kabir Khan ably demonstrates when he tells the team to just go and play … Chak De! The aspect of tapping into the “wisdom of the crowd” is not too apparent. Having said that, this would reflect what happens in most organizations … Where the wisdom of the crowds is paid lip service to, and the thoughts of a set of managers are what the company is run by. This, to a lot of folks, is set to change, and change it will, considering the way social computing is putting the tools for collaboration into the hands of everyone.

Lastly, though, the point to be made is that the movie brings out the idea of a shared passion, and teamwork very well, and this also shows something else … That a story is worth more than the number of words in it.

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