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Lessons from Ted Lasso: Building High-Performance Teams with Microsoft Viva

By Alex Graves, CVO

Lessons from Ted Lasso: Building High-Performance Teams with Microsoft Viva

In the world of television, few characters have captured the hearts of viewers quite like Ted Lasso. This American football coach turned British football manager for fictional club AFC Richmond brings a unique blend of positivity, empathy, and unyielding optimism to the screen, inspiring not only his team but also audiences worldwide. When Ted Lasso arrives as the new coach of AFC Richmond, the team is struggling both on and off the pitch. However, through his unique leadership style, positive attitude, and unwavering belief in his players, Ted transforms the team into a cohesive unit that not only improves their performance on the pitch but also strengthens their bonds off the field.

As we delve into the world of “Ted Lasso,” through the series we uncover valuable lessons on leadership, teamwork, and the power of human connection—lessons that are not only applicable to the football pitch but also to the modern workplace.

The Ted Lasso Approach to Leadership

For those that don’t know the show, at the heart of “Ted Lasso” lies its titular character, whose leadership style serves as a beacon of inspiration for leaders everywhere. Ted Lasso embodies qualities such as empathy, authenticity, and a relentless focus on building relationships with his team members. His unwavering positivity in the face of adversity sets the tone for the entire club structure (and the shows sub-plots), creating a culture where individuals feel valued, supported, and trusted to perform at their best.

In the realm of modern work, effective leadership is paramount to driving organisational success. And effective leaders lean on the right tools to help them get the job done. Tools like Microsoft Viva. The Microsoft Viva applications are a suite of tools that provide leaders with invaluable data and insights into their teams’ wellbeing, productivity, and collaboration patterns, enabling them to make informed decisions that foster engagement and drive performance. By embracing the Ted Lasso approach to leadership and using tools like Microsoft Viva, organisations can encourage a culture of trust, transparency, and continuous improvement.

Nurturing Wellbeing and Inclusivity

“Ted Lasso” not only celebrates the triumphs of its characters on the field but also delves into their personal struggles and triumphs off the pitch. From Rebecca Welton’s journey of redemption to Roy Kent’s pursuit of purpose beyond football, the show highlights the importance of supporting the holistic wellbeing of team members and building a culture of inclusivity and belonging.

Microsoft Viva Engage serves as a powerful tool for organisations seeking to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Communities in Viva Engage is a safe place to express your individuality within your organisation and even use it as a platform to promote your expertise and skills amongst peers. Asking for help from others across the organisation using Answers in Viva can provide a huge benefit to your colleagues old and new so that you’re building a repository of available knowledge and reducing time to onboard new staff. Using Viva Engage as a social and knowledge sharing tool, it will provide access to information and insights that help facilitate the culture that many hybrid organisations miss today. Just as Ted Lasso champions the individual strengths and talents of each team member, organisations can leverage Viva Engage, empowering employees to bring their whole selves to work and contribute to the collective success of the team.

Effective Communication and Collaboration

Central to the success of any team—be it on the football field or in the boardroom—is effective communication and collaboration. “Ted Lasso” exemplifies the power of clear, open communication and the importance of building strong relationships built on trust, respect, and mutual support (and home baked shortbread to keep stakeholders onboard).

Microsoft Viva Connections provides organisations with a centralised hub for internal communication and collaboration within the Teams app. It streamlines the flow of information in the form of documents in your feed, and enables connections among team members globally through news roll-ups and social feedback. Just as Ted Lasso builds a sense of camaraderie and unity among his players, organisations can use Viva Connections to break down silos, facilitate knowledge sharing, and promote a culture of collaboration across departments and geographies.

“Ted Lasso” offers a masterclass in leadership, teamwork, and the transformative power of human connection. By embracing the principles exemplified by Ted Lasso and adopting the capabilities of Microsoft Viva, organisations can build high-performance teams that thrive in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business landscape. Whether you’re navigating the challenges of the football pitch or the complexities of the modern workplace, remember the lessons from Ted Lasso: Believe in yourself, lift-up those around you, and never underestimate the power of a little kindness.

Using Microsoft Viva to Build High Performance Teams

Let’s dive a little deeper. Here’s a breakdown of how each aspect of a high-performance team aligns with specific functionalities offered by Microsoft Viva, highlighting the role of technology in supporting and enhancing teamwork, communication, and leadership within organisations.

Leadership

Ted leads by example, demonstrating qualities such as empathy, integrity and resilience.

Viva Insights and Glint – understand the current performance of your teams, using data insights and listening to employee feedback.

Viva Goalsalign employees to company objectives and assign team initiatives that aid the achievement of the goals within in the OKR framework.

Viva Engage – demonstrate true self and relatability to colleagues by using Leadership Corner, Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions, and regularly posting about company culture.

Teamwork & Collaboration

Ted emphasises the importance of teamwork and collaboration, encouraging his players to support and uplift each other both on and off the field.

Viva Connections – the entry point for company engagement through Teams. Bringing content from news updates, key information and recently accessed documents into a feed gives employees the ability to connect to latest updates fast.

Communication

Ted prioritises clear, open communication, ensuring that everyone is on the same page and understands their roles and responsibilities. He listens to his players’ concerns and ideas, fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment within the team.

Viva Engage – use storylines to post video updates and clarify any ambiguities on organisational director. Those in leadership roles can promote alignment through Leadership Corner, and combine with Viva Goals updates on progress development.

Viva Amplify – cascade information across multiple channels, measure the engagement of each channels’ effectiveness and refine the campaign based on data.

Personal Development

Ted invests in the personal and professional development of his players, helping them grow both as athletes and individuals.

Viva Learning – Bring learning into Teams and use the collaboration features of Teams to promote social learning across the organisation. Integrate with existing LMS platforms or create your own content and host in Viva Learning.

Resilience & Adaptability

Ted teaches his players to embrace challenges and setbacks with resilience and optimism. He encourages them to learn from failure, adapt to change, and keep pushing forward no matter the odds.

Viva Insights & Viva Pulse – Using Viva Insights to understand work habits and how they can be improved through continuous review and focus will help individuals and leaders promote a culture where data and sentiment feedback can drive the future of high performance. This is achieved through a focus on Adoption & Change Management steps and organisational alignment from top down.

Be More Lasso: Fostering a High-Performance Culture with Microsoft Viva

In combining the leadership principles exemplified by Ted Lasso with the transformative capabilities of Microsoft Viva, organisations have the opportunity to cultivate a high-performance culture that thrives on empathy, collaboration, continuous learning, and wellbeing. Just as Ted Lasso inspires his team to reach new heights of success through his unwavering positivity and belief in their potential, Microsoft Viva provides the tools and insights needed to support and enhance these efforts. By embracing the power of technology to inspire employees, build meaningful connections, and drive continuous improvement, organisations can create a culture where every individual feels valued, supported, and empowered to contribute their best—a culture that embodies the spirit of Ted Lasso and champions the collective success of the team.

Yours sincerely,
The Silicon Reef football team coach
Alex

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Demystifying Microsoft Viva

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In partnership with the Institute of Internal Communication.

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