This Maori dance is performed at the start of a match by the All Blacks rugby team, and is very successful in the world of management. Companies see this as an opportunity to enhance team cohesion by leveraging positive emotions.
In the history of rugby, the haka stands out widely. It is practiced by the All Blacks at the beginning of the match, and it has contributed to the fame of the New Zealand national team, and has become one of the most famous sporting rituals. So much so that today this Maori dance is largely democratized abroad. In the business world in particular, where sporting values are widespread, the Haka is taught during seminars to enhance team cohesion, a sense of belonging and even a spirit of competition.
“It’s not a training per se, but a workshop that can last between thirty minutes and several hours, from learning to completion,” says Ilan Zammour, founder of team-building agency MadCityZen. Since creating this animation in 2016, during the Rugby World Cup, the haka has been a successful activity for the agency. Many companies use it in different forms. “The advantage is that we can adapt it to the wishes of customers. We move from the basic version to more personalized models, modifying words, makeup, a rugby polo shirt or even a ‘battle’ between different teams. For this activity, former rugby players are called in – some of whom are of Maori – “For the staff, there is no need to know how to sing, no need to know how to dance, all you need is the will and the real desire to create a group performance.”
“Besides its entertainment aspect, the emotions generated by this dance have long-term effects on the group.”
Thanks to the clients of MadCityZen, Louis Vuitton, BNP, also the Arkéa bank group, who has received a copy from the atelier and also called them for 200 of these customers who have a similar auto theme for the sport and the world. Community spirit. “We wanted to make sure that the participants left with a smile, dynamism and pride ‘in the shirt’. The haka appeared to us as an ideal activity, symbolic and universal, capable of creating an unforgettable shared memory. “Especially We sponsor the Bordeaux rugby team.”
The same observation for Nicolas Blondet, HR Director of the Compagnie des fromages et Richesmonts group (Cœur de Lion, Le Rustique, RichesMonts…), who also visited the Haka workshop during a conference of 130 company executives. “Besides its entertainment aspect, the emotions generated by this dance have long-term effects on the group. We know ourselves better, learn how to synchronize, but also reveal ourselves to others. The haka allows you to reveal the deep energy buried in every person.
The Hakka’s reputation in business does not stop at the French borders alone. Tack-TMI, a consulting and training solutions company, offers this type of workshop in Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium, but also in Morocco and Tunisia. “Everywhere in countries where dance is culturally known,” says Thomas Deburggrave, Tack-TMI’s director for French-speaking countries, who is a strong believer in the power of dance. “Even if it is not a direct result of this type of workshop, we can imagine that before an important meeting, the haka will be a ritual to get on the same wavelength!”
But in reality, this practice remains confined to the strict framework of seminars. Companies instead choose to immortalize the moment by filming the final group choreography. This was the case for Mazda in February 2014. The Japanese manufacturer performed the world’s largest haka by gathering more than 4,000 people in the middle of a rugby field, including employees, in order to set a Guinness World Record.
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