Ever felt like punching a colleague?

Guest post from LAPS’ James Voss, former pro rugby player for the likes of Jersey Reds, Leicester Tigers and Coventry RFC. How do we create a positive culture in the workplace?

Early on in my career, I was in a team where without any shadow of a doubt, there would be fights on a weekly basis (bear with me)…

It got to the point where the coach had to call a meeting to put a stop to it otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to field a team. Everywhere you looked there were black eyes, broken noses and a few hands in casts.

The best bit was… we were best mates (and still are).

For every fight in training, there would be double the number of laughs, coffees and millionaire shortbreads. On training days off, you’d see 10 of us going out for lunch together, playing a round of golf or having more shortbread.

What was the performance outcome?

Now here’s the crazy thing, we were winning.

Every game, teams would come, and they would lose.


We believed in what we were doing, and we would give it our all for the man next to us, to do everything we could towards the shared goal of winning, no matter who we played.

And we loved every second.

But how do you build a powerful culture?

I recently attended the BII conference listening to the amazing speakers such as Abi Dunn, Katy Moses CBII and Charlie Fryday where they spoke brilliantly about culture in the workplace.

It made me realise the parallel that runs between sports culture and workplace culture.

See culture, in its essence, is the shared values, beliefs, and behaviours that define a group.

In sports, culture isn’t just about the game itself; it’s about the team dynamics, the rituals, and the unspoken bonds that create a winning mindset.

Similarly, in the workplace, organisational culture sets the tone for collaboration, innovation, and employee satisfaction. ????????

Where does culture come from?

Both thrive on communication, teamwork, and a sense of belonging. A winning sports team mirrors a successful workplace where individuals collaborate seamlessly towards a common goal.

Now I’m not suggesting you glove up and start weekly boxing but what I am saying is, whether it’s on the sports field or in the professional arena, culture is essential in shaping experiences and outcomes. ????⚽????

So here’s my question, What do you do to create culture in the workplace?
**Oh and for the mongrel mob mentioned above, 50% of the starting team that year went on to play for the top clubs in Europe at the end of that season.