Introduction Till 2000, the Indian Cricket Team comprised a bunch of individual performance-oriented players. Seniors were more interested in making their places secure in the team. Juniors were not given proper chance to showcase their talents. Issues like regional bias, different subgroups working against each other‟s interests within the team ate into the team‟s effectiveness as a unit. In early 2000, the morale of the team was completely shattered by the match-fixing scandal. Sourav Ganguly was assigned captaincy at this crucial juncture. A born leader, he went ahead with his instincts and radically changed the entire outlook of the team to create „Team India‟ as we know it now.
Changes brought in by Sourav Gangulyin the Indian cricket team: Provided ample opportunities to youngsters in the team, support and guide them and stay by them in difficult times. Cultivated merit instead of regional bias. Positive, never-say-die attitude Looked eye to eye with the fiercest of opponents, transforming the meek Indian cricket team into the confident and aggressive “Men in Blue”. Reorganized the team structure, giving more liberty to seniors to guide and mentor junior members. Shifted the focus from individualistic performances to teamwork. The concept of TEAM INDIA was born.
Strategies in communicating change: Sourav constantly backed and encouraged the younger team-members & guided them in difficult times, thereby gaining their respect, and the authority that he deserved as a captain. His strategy comprised a mix of: Tell And Sell Underscore and Explore The change sought by him was developmental/incremental as well as charismatic, for which he used supportive and emotional communication style respectively.
Skills for communicating changes: Sourav possessed excellent toxic handling skills. He shielded his team members from all kind of negative influences. He also used his skills of upward selling of ideas, incrementally and continuously, while convincing the team management to implement his ideas about building the team. He used the following language forms: Ideals – He always pitched in for what he believed. Appeals – He sought the support of his young team members in his fight for a change.
Consolidating changes: Redesign roles – Sourav assigned specific mentoring roles to responsible senior players whom he believed to be aligned with his vision of change. Constantly act with advocated action – He always lead from the front. Redesign Reward system – For the first time in Indian cricket, he removed regional bias and pushed for selecting players on the basis of merit and talent. Encourage voluntary acts of initiative – He encouraged youngsters to give him innovative ideas on the field. Celebrate en route – The famous NatWest shirt whirling incident that marked the joyous celebration of the birth of the MEN in BLUE.