6 Pillars to Drive your Sports Organization Forward
Why six pillars of a sports organization to drive performance?
Why athlete development, coaching, culture, recruitment, people (leadership) and finances?
Because this framework captures the key elements to running a high performing sports organization, understanding the status quo and figuring out how to keep driving performance forward.
Your Six Pillars:
One study out of Australia identifies 16 different values and priorities used to asses performance. They include making sure the club develops an ethos of having a shared responsibility for performance, developing a functional volunteer structure, creating a high performance culture, performing long term planning, having a commitment to values, establishing efficient internal procedures and reported stakeholder satisfaction, just to list a few.
If you look at some of the factors behind Liverpool’s recent success - new ownership, new manager, commercial success, operational improvements, strengthened economic situation, alignment throughout the club, playing style designed for the fans, stakeholder engagement - they speak to similar KPIs and factors as noted above.
When you perform a diagnostics on your club using these six pillars as the framework, you start to uncover performance gaps and learn key insights to take you to the next level. You start to see how you can organize your club more effectively, how you can build out the foundation to become more robust, and what values you want to impart on your athletes, parents and recruits.
Putting this framework in place gives you insight on where to focus now, how to increase alignment, and how to build for the future. It puts your entire organization on the same page and gets everyone rowing in the same direction.
"If you could get all the people in the organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.”
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
By layering your own club’s values on top of the framework you create your own personalized lens for how to view and assess each pillar. Now you start developing your club in a very specific, personalized and customized manner. It’s about who you are, what you have to offer and what you want to accomplish.
There are big questions you need to ask and answer as you develop your club, work to close the gaps in performance, and set your direction for the future. Tennis Canada underwent a strategic overhaul in the early 2000s and they asked themselves a few main questions (based on the work and guidance of Roger Martin):
- what do they want to accomplish
- how are they going to get there
- what resources and capabilities do they need to do so
This led to a thorough deep dive and review of all elements to their program - player development, coach development, culture, leadership, finances, recruitment, to name a few.
Using a framework like this is exactly what it takes to get you to the next level. Through this process you figure out exactly how your organization is operating now, gaining an understanding of your status quo, and then uncovering gaps and insights to get you from where you are now to your ideal state.