Does your club train in the way that gets the best results? Given the chance, I’m sure you would be quick to change some frustration or other you feel about training.
But changing culture is difficult; it takes strong personalities and a groundswell of support. Most people take the easy option; keeping quiet and getting increasingly annoyed when team results are erratic.
There is no need to put up with it anymore.
Here are some of the best ways to introduce changes to culture without driving members away:
1. Gain support
Your revolution is not going to go anywhere unless members support you, but that doesn’t mean you need everyone to agree. Cultures in any group are lead by a few key influential people. They are often the captain and coach, but certainly not always.
Get these heads on board and the rest quickly fall into line.
Do that by seeking out the influencers and talking to them individually. You are looking to get them to recognise the need for change rather than agree to specific changes.
The natural aversion to change will get people throwing up roadblocks. Your job is to avoid these for now and just get the idea into the mind that changes need to happen for the good of the team.
2. Involve everyone
With the principles in place you can get to the nuts and bolts of how you are going to do it. Chances are you will have a good idea of what you want to happen, but unless you are a power-mad dictator you are not going to get everything you want.
So talk, face to face, and involve everyone in the change: first choice players, professionals, coaches and fringe players.
The only way an idea will stick is if everyone backs it and the only way to do that is to involve people in the decisions.
3. Define success
One important step in this process that is often missed is that people fail to define what is success. It’s easy to get wrapped up in planning changes, and motivating people to do them. Plans change, compromises are made. Before you know it you have forgotten exactly what you are trying to do.
So right from the start, get the ultimate goal in mind.
For example, take a club who train once a week but the nets are disorganised so people are not turning up for practice. Your goal could be to create a fixed training plan over the season and grow numbers of people at training. All changes are geared towards that aim.
In other words; before you set out on your journey, you know where the destination is.
4. Plan for individual differences
Any plan for change, no matter how small or grand, has exceptions. Your star bowler can’t make training because he doesn’t finish work until 10pm. Your best batsman lives 80 miles away.
So make sure that every exception (rather than objection) is handled.
Give the star bowler the chance to train another night, or before work. Get the star batsmen playing midweek cricket at a club nearer to home.
Find a way to get it done.
Cultural change can be fast or slow, but the thing to remember is that it can be done, even with the biggest stick-in-the-mud you know (if everyone else changes, your stubborn friend will have to go with it).
So be brave and start the revolution; light the fire
by David Hinchclife, PitchVision Academy
© 2012 miSport Ltd