The secret of a good kick-off

Team collaboration depends on creating involvement, co-operation and a common goal. The kick-off is the optimal moment to make a fresh start for your (new) team, project or collaboration. What does the collaboration entail, what are we working towards and how are we going to get that goal? Success is achieved as a team and with a good kick-off everyone can contribute to the success from the get-go. A perfect underpinning for a team result.

Team sport as a source of inspiration

I am and remain a proud supporter of the Dutch national team. What a great feeling it is to fight together for a specific purpose. Side by side in our bright orange shirts, smudgy flags on sweaty cheeks and crazy hats on our heads. The moment before it erupts, I’m waiting with a pounding heart and clenched fists. On the halfway line, the players are ready for the kick-off….

Have you ever asked yourself what makes a successful kick-off? When I look at the field, I see one player taking the kick-off. But most of all, I see eleven players all facing the same direction. They all have one objective in mind. The team literally take their positions behind the player who kicks off. Everyone knows the proverb ‘a good start is half the battle’. But are we fully aware of the importance facing in the same direction has for a team? The player who kicks off, kicks the ball straight back towards the team to start the attack.

We all want a kick-off with a team behind us: all facing the same direction, supporting each other and wanting, above all, to do it together.

A kick-off after corona

A team that collaborates well is crucial. When you play the ball, you want your team to play in the same direction as you, don’t you? We’ve had a turbulent time and we’re still in the middle of a world full of corona. However, we do have a palette of digital skills. Useful skills, but how are we going to integrate them? We spend less time in direct contact with our colleagues due to home or hybrid working. Now that we can all go back to the office, we are re-starting the ‘game’. Kicking off again, tuning in again, getting used to it all again. It’s a match that’s going to take place physically as well as digitally. After all, we don’t want our colleagues to be sidelined. Now is the time for that successful kick-off.


The start of something new

It’s great to see how much energy we get from meeting up with one another in person. It’s very essential that we start working together again at the same place. Personally, I experienced a great loss when it was no longer possible. Fortunately, we are much freer now and at the start of something new. Our biggest challenge is to find the balance between the way we learned to work from home and creating together.

I want to create together!

We need one another when we’re searching for the balance. You can use a kick-off to make (more) connections with each other or regain balance by offering help and having real conversations about how and where you want to go. The aim is to line up together behind the ball and know where and how everyone is placed on the field. Back to the drawing board, to determine the line-up and tactics. And, most important, use all your skills, digital and face-to-face, to set up a great (hybrid) variant of a kick-off.


It is possible

The other day I recorded a podcast with a participant from one of our programs. I was perplexed at how he talked about the impact a kick-off can have. He mentioned that through the combination of taking time for connection, having real conversations and skill-building, he was finally challenged to the max to collaborate. He felt a tremendous sense of triumph, that he had really, truly achieved with his team.

The team members settled in and felt comfortable together much faster after the program had ended because of the sense of solidarity. They’ve mastered a new form of collaboration due to the challenge posed by real co-operation. A resounding 3-0 victory. A good kick-off can really make all the difference.


It’s time

Let’s be what Barcelona once was. The short lines, the many passes and blindly finding and trusting in one another. Let’s get to work with each other, in connection. Give yourself, your team, your organization a good kick-off to get back together behind the ball. This gives you all the energy and direction you need to reach the goal on the other side of the field.

The healthy tension when you are allowed back on the field for the first time, the nerves playing up. A good kick-off can be decisive. Get back on your toes and be as well attuned to each other as you were and before you know it, you and your team will be behind that decisive penalty in the Champions League final. With the confidence of your teammates, scoring the goal is just a formality. Yes!! Happy competition!

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