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Book Review

by Neil Rollings

‘Belonging: The Ancient Code of Togetherness’ Owen Eastwood

This is a fascinating book, which attempts to explain the science behind the widely held, but anecdotal, view that teams can provide a uniquely positive experience for their members. This is based on the universal human need to belong.

The author draws on his Maori heritage to link teamship to human background, reinforcing the view that people thrive in communities which are brought together by shared history and values. He links this with his work advising leading sports teams around the world, and assisting them in establishing a shared identity and psychological safety. This is the core of his methods to maximise the performance of teams as diverse as South African Cricket and England Football.

Aspects of Eastwood’s unique approach include: finding identity, sharing purpose, visioning future success, sharing ownership and understanding the fundamental dynamics of groups that can convert diversity into competitive advantage.

This book will be of particular interest to anyone involved with teams, communities and coaching. It provides a foundation to understanding how teams work, and how they can produce strong loyalty from their members and improved levels of performance.