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Organisational Change and Leadership in Performance teams

Having spent over 16 years in the UK Military and benefitting from formal leadership and management training throughout my career, I was lucky to spend a number of years running large teams of staff but also working in unit and departmental Change management.

These skills are unusual in Medicine, sport science and strength and conditioning, where little formal structure exists to deliver this training or skill set. Managing teams and outcomes, along with organizational change are complex processes and people are led, process is managed. It is not a skill which is acquired usually working in performance teams and must be given careful construct.

A recent talk I gave on Marginal Gains, at the excellent @EOA Conference, focused on the construct, management and sum of its parts of the Performance team, all too commonly, these teams expand in numbers as the data collected gets too big to be managed and an ever increasing list of interns, analysts and PhD students gets added to the team, these increasingly flat structure take active leadership to ensure that the collective goal is that of the performance of the team – the availability of the maximum playing list for the coach. To often the focus becomes the production of research in an endeavour rot get ahead, but the team and the players are lost as the focus,despite the intentions of the team.

The communication within the team and back to the coach is vital and what defines a world class team - not emailing or storing independent data, but talking in the same language is vital, but needs direction to ensure it works

The ever increasing data from in-game and in training load creates a problem and to ensure the simplicity of message and communication with the team is vital in a world class structure.
These are easy to talk about , and assume that you have in place and do already but do your S and C team speak the same data language as your coaching staff or medical team or is the world of wattages, max accelerations and plays different from % 1RM and peak power output from the rehab team talking about allowing 20 % of training load.

The simplicity of message is an important skill for a performance director or head of department it is their job to ensile all of the staff work in trying to simplify rather than complicate the message - My view is that elite professional teams are not the place for active research - it is the implementation of world class science at this level which will ensure benefit - all those involved in the team should ideally be full time - expanding teams with contractors or interns denigrates the care with which teams should be out together from an Emotional intelligence point of view as well as skill set to ensure the composite sum of its parts are greater than of the individuals - Care must also be made to ensure succession planning throughout so a well put together, and complementary team is always capable of continuing the greta work being down, rather than starting afresh.

I have turned down many opportunities which do not allow the implementation of my processes or skills, as it does not do the role or service justice.

I have spent the last I have spent the last 20 years creating a unique skill set from coaching World Championship level rowing, through 16 years working for the Royal Navy and Royal Marine Commandos whilst completing Sports Physician training, to PhD studies in the biomechanical and physiological preparation of athletes. I have worked for GB Rowing, England Rugby, Melbourne Storm and the NZ Black Ferns among other Olympic sports and individual athletes.

Unusually for a Sports Physician my focus is to run a full time high performance medical, science and athletic development team at a leading club in the world. My military carer developed the opportunity to lead the way in a structured, well managed and world class manner To head up these teams it is essential that the person interpreting the various streams of data and training programs is in my view a Level 5 Leader. These are the top of the tree in terms of ability and Dave Collins describes this process well - not only are these people organisational or leaders, they channel their high Ego and drive to represent the organisation - easily said but not always possible in practice.

I will discuss this concept more in upcoming blog posts on leadership and marginal gains in sport.


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© 2013. Dr Andy Franklyn-Miller. All rights reserved.