England needs LESS football talent to win World Cup

And your website team also needs to be less talented

Brazil World Cup 2014 Logo EffectStrange as it might seem, packing your team with talent is not the route to success. You might assume that in the World Cup that starts today, the team with the most talent will win. But that might not be the case.

New research shows that sports clubs packed with talent can compromise the team effectiveness. It looks like when you pack a team with talent, you are also packing it with egos. And that means you are choosing personality types less likely to cooperate and work together.

The study found that when sports required lots of interdependence between individuals, then having more talent worked against the team. For a football team to work, for instance, there is the need for lots of interdependent behaviour. With lots of high talented individuals in the team, that appears to happen less often.

Teamwork needs all sorts

What the study really shows is the need to have teams made up of people of all kinds of talents. That encourages cooperation, it appears. So, what does your business team look like? What kind of people are in our web development team? If they are the “top talent” you can get, you might not be achieving the success you desire. It might be better to have a range of talents in your working team, rather than the best talent money can afford.

This goes against much traditional thinking, of course. The idea that you get the best talent available to bolster your team is widespread. But ask any football fan who complains that their team hasn’t done well in spite of spending “all  that money” on top talent. Buying in the best talent does not always work.

Crucial to your decision as to what kind of people to have in a team is the kind of team it is. For instance, a web development team where there is a lot of interdependency will work best, according to this new research, when the team has multiple levels of talent. But if your team is largely made up of individuals, doing their own thing who do not really have to work together or with each other, then getting the top talent is precisely the right thing to do.

Oh – and if you want to place your bets for the winner of this year’s World Cup, perhaps it would be a good idea to avoid the team with the most talented players….! Goodness, I’m turning into a football pundit now…!



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