The University of Maryland Terrapins have won the Men's College Cup [NCAA Division I championship] again -- second time since 2005.
What makes this team special? Lot's of individual talent, for sure. But the key is connected talent -- team chemistry.
This championship soccer program has been doing social network analysis [SNA] since 2004. The coach's brother -- Vancho Cirovski -- learned the SNA process, as a client of mine, while he was an HR executive. Vancho first experimented with SNA when his brother's talented team was struggling in 2004. Among other things, the SNA process allowed the brothers to see who the natural/emergent leaders were on the team. SNA revealed both the on-field and off-field leaders.
This year, the SNA revealed three emergent leaders on the team -- all were named co-captains at the beginning of the season. We will share more details of the social network analysis on my orgnet.com site after the celebrations are over.
The team's use of social network analysis in prior seasons was written up by Business Week in this 2006 article: Game Plan: First Find the Leaders