With the Australian summer of cricket starting this past week, the national team’s ‘Sandpapergate’ scandal in 2017, where players were banned from the game for using sandpaper to alter the ball during a game, is being re-examined. The drama that engulfed the team and Cricket Australia led to a far reaching and brutally honest review highlighting failures in leadership and culture.
“We don’t pay you to play, we pay you to win” – a quote from the former CEO of Cricket Australia demonstrates the expectations of senior management on the team to deliver the management strategy. The demand to do whatever it takes to get the winning results had become the culture of the team…. and it had blurred the line between results, morals, values and ethics. The consequences of this were dire and played out very publicly on the world stage. Trust in the organisation, and consequently the sport in Australia had been broken and it would take time to rebuild.
How has the Australian cricket team rebuilt? Hard reflection and making the hard decisions; transparency and authenticity at all levels; taking things back to the basics and working their way back from the grassroots; and lastly, time.
As business leaders, and we are all leaders in the organisations we work in, we all have the ability to influence the culture of the business. Often we feel like it is management’s responsibility to drive culture, and to a point it is…. yet we all have the ability to help shape the way we deliver the strategy of a business.
So how can we learn from this to impact our business culture?
Create the Environment
Building an environment where all team members feel heard, have direction, have the support of management and feel like they matter is an amazing starting point. Regular check ins like weekly meetings, status update sessions, group workshops and team catch ups give opportunities for all to contribute to driving the culture. More interaction between members has been implemented by the Cricket Australia board.
Manage through inclusion and open communication
One of the biggest assumptions we see is the Business Owner having all the answers and knows the best way to drive culture. They will know the culture they want, so add open communication and team members feeling empowered to include management in the culture conversations helps to create trust and see more relevant behaviours being exhibited.
Be clear on Values
Like Cricket Australia, most businesses have a list of values that they suggest shapes the behaviour of the team. Yet when these are unclear, non-existent, hidden away or not focussed on, especially when things get hectic it’s easy for these to be forgotten. Have them visible, raised at regular meetings and included in our everyday so to keep them front of mind
As leaders within an organisation, we all have the ability to influence its culture. Being clear on the environment we want, maintaining open communication through all levels and being clear on what we value will help build a business driving towards quality results.
Consider the culture in your business this week and the impact you are currently having. If you were to action the above tips, how would you impact the culture of your teams and what extra momentum would you create?
Need help building the culture you want… let’s chat about how we can help.