Just like Suri, our mascot, you may have been one of millions of viewers waiting with great impatience for the Walking Dead season 7 premiere and who remained speechless in front of their screen (no more spoilers here out of respect for the fans who have not had time to catch up). It was an episode that traumatized many people but left no one indifferent!
Quick summary for our readers who have not yet had the opportunity to watch the series (but still, already 6 full seasons available!!)
The Walking Dead follows the adventures of Rick Grimes and the survivors who crossed his path while a strange virus turns the dead into zombies. Presented like this, it may seem a little ridiculous, but the series is an opportunity to look into the evolution of the human kind in an apocalyptic world. The saying “Man is a wolf to man” is certainly at the heart of the show.
In a world where infrastructure has been completely destroyed, survival of the fittest prevails. There is fierce competition amongst, often diametrically opposed, human clans that are forming on the basis of shared values.
In this context, the hero, Rick Grimes, gradually manages to form a group, a new self-selected family, with which he organizes his survival while trying to preserve at least some aspects of humanity. If we transpose this story to the business world, it brings to mind some basic principles to follow in order to ensure the cohesion of employees around the company’s project and ensure survival in a highly competitive and complex environment for our organisations.
# 1. EXPRESS A CLEAR VISION
The prerequisite for any successful business career is the definition of a clear strategy. What is the mission that the company has set for itself and that justifies its existence? What is the vision expressed by the leader and shared by all members of the organisation?
As regards Rick Grimes, his vision is that, whatever happens, it is via the force of group that the individual will survive. This group of complementary individuals is the solution to overcome obstacles (And there are so many obstacles in The Walking Dead!).
The mission of the organisation is to perpetuate a group of individuals united in adversity in which each of them can rely on each other, no matter what. His vision, which consists of being pessimistic about the path but optimistic about the goal, is shared by the members of this self-made group and allows them to move forward together.
A leader without a vision is not a strong leader and will struggle to maintain any cohesion around a common business project. A clearly expressed vision is unifying for those who recognize themselves as part of the group. There is nothing worse than a ship without a captain…
# 2. COMMUNICATE AND TRANSMIT YOUR VALUES
One thing is certain, it is impossible to move forward alone, whether in The Walking Dead or in a business venture. The success is thus mostly due to the strength of your group. And what is better than a foundation of solid values to build the cohesion of a group? But to do this, you must be clear about the values that matter most to your organisation and that will serve as a guide for every action.
At the beginning of the adventure, Rick always asks the same three questions to people he meets and ask for his help: How many walkers have you killed? How many people have you killed? Why? It was his way of interviewing new people on through their actions and motivations in a context of survival.
Always asking the same three questions to people he met is a simple but effective method that Rick imagined to identify people likely to join the group. It’s a very easy process to replicate for companies that use the one-way video interviewing solution offered by InterviewApp 😉
Thus, people that not only join Rick’s group but can also stay there permanently are those who viscerally share the values of this group: help, courage and contribution of everyone.
Each group member is involved around the common project for their adventure to keep working.
# 3. DO NOT NEGLECT ONBOARDING
Onboarding is a process that aims to effectively integrate new recruits into the organisation. As already detailed in our article Effective onboarding for successful recruitment (only available in French), a successful recruitment depends at least 50% on providing an effective integration period.
If we refer to Rick’s experience and the way his group works, onboarding starts with a clear and simple explanation about the rules of the community life.
Onboarding may also include a retraining or even a strong reality check for those who are not experienced enough to survive in conditions of extreme uncertainty.
The integration continues by immersing the new member through concrete actions, each member being assigned an important mission that, through services rendered, enhances him/her in the view of the community.
Finally, Rick Grimes completes his onboarding by fostering moments of true comradery among members of the community during times of calm amidst the storm. Celebrating small victories or simply realizing that we enjoy working together can really have an impact on group cohesion.
A source of inspiration for our organisations!
# 4. LEARN TO DELEGATE
The strength of an organisation is also based upon the ability of its leaders to recruit talented people to whom they can delegate responsibilities for which they are, or can be, well suited.
Thus, from each clan in The Walking Dead emerges a clearly identified leader who concentrates decision-making power and generates the driving ability of the group. Each of these clans are highly structured around a division of tasks based on the identification of individual skills. Each member of the group knows what he/she has to do for the group to thrive and understands that the rest of the group is counting on him/her. There is therefore an important notion of individual responsibility towards the community that each one contributes to serve.
# 5. A STRONG TEAM SPIRIT
The great lesson to be drawn from The Walking Dead is that the group is always stronger than individuals that comprise it when facing adversity. It is therefore crucial to stand together. This concept has been understood by the self-selected members of Rick Grimes’ group because they consider themselves a family. And what is a family, but a group of people who accept each other whatever their differences are, and move forward together, either through harsh or good times. Trusting each other is key to the balance of the group. A strong team spirit is essential. An example for consideration 🙂
So would you start watching the Walking Dead to draw your own conclusions?
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