Cultures are the sum of everyone’s beliefs, behaviours, attitudes and skills. This means that no single person is responsible for culture, it belongs to the team. Of course, committees have a big say in the safety of the culture and have to role model what they expect of others, they in effect give permission for everyone to do as they do - set the trend. If they provide encouragement and inspiration it is an impetus for team success.
Once these cultural foundations are laid, then the hard work begins. Because defining team culture is not a ‘set and forget’ activity. Like any strong plant, it needs feeding, watering and plenty of sunshine. This is where reviewing the behaviours and events chosen to grow the club culture are set as an agenda item at regular meetings.
A culture builds on something that is already established it challenges prescribed norms and looks for ways to be unique or else incrementally improve upon them. It recognises its roots but isn’t satisfied staying there.
In my experience of helping people transform their cultures, the teams that become exceptional are persistent in their search for better ways to do things. A cross-functional group of people who co-own the process and are committed to improving the way things get done, not maintaining the status quo. It takes time to design and implement something to change the way of thinking and acting, how to attract players, how to treat players and how to measure success, looking at team goals. Growth mindset, not being afraid to have difficult conversations and creating an environment to allow them to take place safely.
As culture is owned by everyone within the team, the club should have representatives from every area. Often their attendees are from the same small group of ‘high-potential’ members, rather than having a mix of roles, abilities, skill sets, mindsets, viewpoints, and ages.
Adapted from an article by Colin Ellis (Culture change specialist) Culture Change LinkedIn 2021
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