New book showcases business lessons from the New Zealand All Blacks

By Harry Allan

What can businesses learn from the New Zealand All Blacks, the US Marines, Finnish school teachers, as well as other global performance-leading institutions?

A new book reveals the inside story of how 12 Powerhouse organisations across sport, arts, education, medicine and commerce lead their respective fields, and provides valuable lessons for ambitious business leaders

Why are the New Zealand All Blacks the best rugby team in the world?

How does the Kirov Ballet manage to produce generation after generation of exceptional ballerinas? How does the Finnish School System continue to break conventions to achieve world-leading results in education?

Each of these organisations has managed to consistently outperform its competition and sustain its position at the top of its game, yet at face value they may not immediately appear to have much in common.

As a new book reveals, all of these Powerhouse organisations established their status by design rather than accident, and by understanding the inside stories of twelve world-leading organisations, the book unlocks invaluable lessons that business leaders can use to raise their own performance bars.

The authors, Brian MacNeice and James Bowen are the founders and Managing Directors of Kotinos Partners, a consultancy specialising in working with business leaders to achieve sustained high performance.

Having advised many blue-chip organisations over the last 20 years, they identified twelve diverse institutions that set the benchmark in their fields and set about understanding what makes these Powerhouses great.

Powerhouse includes immersive research and detailed first-hand interviews with leaders to provide a unique and exclusive inside look into how the following organisations really work:

New Zealand All Blacks

Small nation has become a consistent, dominant force in world rugby, driven by feedback-rich culture, investing energy in continual learning and frequent performance conversations.

Finnish State School System

Consistently ranked as world-leading education system. Breaks rules of conventional wisdom for most education systems by giving good people the autonomy to make decisions.

Curtis Institute of Music

World-famous conservatoire maintains a small performance gap between members to drive constantly improving standards for all.

US Marine Corps

Iconic fighting force always working to ensure high standards are engrained in its DNA.

Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders)

Nobel prize-winning emergency aid agency winning hearts and minds around the world through its clear sense of purpose.


A long-standing top dog of the global automotive industry due to culture of continuous improvement, delivering on short-term commitments while enabling long-term growth.

Tata Group

Indian's top conglomerate, leaders in industry and philanthropy across more than 100 countries by implementing a consistent, balanced code or governance that allows leaders to lead and people to do what needs to be done.

St Louis Cardinals

Widely regarded as the best-run baseball team in the US, consistently outperforming big-spending rivals by focusing on employee engagement.

Mariinsky Theatre (Kirov Ballet)

Producing some of the world's finest performers for over 200 years by instilling resilience at an individual and an organisational level

Mayo Clinic

The largest not-for-profit medical group practice in the world built upon commitment to teamwork and collaborative medicine.

Grameen Bank

Nobel prize-winning lender combining commercial success with transforming lives, following its ambition to eliminate poverty in Bangladesh.

Southwest Airlines

Pioneer of low-cost air travel leading customer service and satisfaction by intelligently using measures to drive performance and achievement.

Powerhouse by Brian MacNeice and James Bowen is out in October 2016, published` by Kogan Page publishers.

Business Review Australia & Asia's September issue is live. 

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