What nature teaches about teamwork…..

In our heart of hearts we all know instinctively that we can achieve far more by working constructively with others rather than on our own.  Not only can we share the load, but if we can all speak the truth and listen well then the creativity which can be applied to an opportunity or challenge is simply awe inspiring.

Unfortunately for us humans, we often struggle with teamwork!  There are so many reasons for this which I am not going to dwell on in this article…however we can look to nature to get some great lessons….

Honk! Honk!

Watch the short video of geese in flight and reflect upon these key lessons they demonstrate to us….

1. Geese fly in a v-formation and “slipstream” as cyclists do in the velodrome. Slipstreaming simply makes it easier for the ones behind to keep up Challenge – how can you create a “slipstream” for your colleagues?


2. Geese rotate the lead – it is exhausting if you are at the front all the time.  Great teamwork is when each take their turn

Challenge – when can you take the lead in your team


3. Geese benefit from the up-draught vortex created by the wing of the bird in front.  Look at the video and you will see that they are not all up and down together, but strategically positioned to benefit the most from the one in front

Challenge – when not leading, where and how should you position yourself to benefit the most from others work and activities?


4. Geese HONK! to encourage one another.  It’s the ones in the middle who do this (as the one at front are busy leading, those at back are recovering and those in middle will be heard everywhere)

Challenge – what can you do to Honk! and encourage your colleagues?


5. Geese support each other.  Did you know that if one is ill then 2 others drop back with it, in that way if the sick one dies then one will not be stranded

Challenge – how can you recognise if a colleague is struggling and what could you do to support them back to full effectiveness?


6. Geese BITE as one!  On the ground they work as a team to defend themselves from attack.

Challenge – what coherent and consistent messages need to be heard from your team and by whom.  There is simply nothing more powerful than all members of a team speaking as one


Conclusion:- if you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far then go together.  Geese actually fly up to 83% further together than they could on their own.  What would an 83% improvement in performance look like in your team?  We could do worse than to learn from nature.


Call us in when you would like to understand how these improvements can help your team to fly…

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