“Culture is the way things will be done.”
I was recently asked by a financial journalist whether one of our leading SA Food companies would make it back to its former heights – after the appointment of their new CEO.
My answer was it depends on the new CEO himself – and importantly who he picks in his inner leadership team.
They are the ones who will urgently need to reset the company culture to enable the company to move forward again.
Business guru Peter Drucker once stated:
Culture eats strategy for breakfast.
What he was saying was not that strategy is unimportant, but rather that a powerful and empowering culture was a surer route to success.
Strategy requires operational execution and excellence, which only happens when one adopts the right culture.
Recently we have all witnessed how culture plays a primary role in the performance levels of sporting teams.
We have seen both sides of the coin.
On the Springbok front, Rassie Erasmas did a first class job in changing the Springbok culture from one of ‘Entitlement’ to one of sacrifice and ownership – under the slogan:
The result was that we became RUGBY WORLD CHAMPIONS together.
In one of his inspirational pre – RWC team talks, Rassie addresses the players on sacrifice, ownership and zero entitlement. He speaks about a period in his own career where he himself became entitled as a Springbok. He described himself as “being a d_ick” during that period.
Luckily others pointed this out to him – and he made the necessary changes…….
For many years, the legendary All Black captain Richie McCaw, had a silent code of honour (P.D.N.L) in the team he led to RWC wins in 2011 and 2015.
PDNL underpinned their inherent team culture. It stood for:
PR_CKS DO NOT LAST.
On our Proteas front, we have seen a team lose their way in recent years. This was primarily because they allowed a toxic culture to develop under their former CEO. (and the board of CRICKET SA).
Entitlement was rife at the top level. Unfortunately, Faf du Plessis was on a hiding to nothing, with little or no chance of changing the ways under that leadership regime.
Current CEO, Jacques Faul inherited this toxic culture. His NO. 1 task is to change the culture – if the Proteas are to bounce back to former heights.
He has moved swiftly to pick his inner leadership team: Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher.
It’s one that will have changing the culture right at the top of their priority list.
Fortunately, Graeme Smith is already experienced in this field having previously being at the forefront of building the team culture of #PROTEAFIRE.
I believe the Proteas can find new inspiration – and a new culture – by adopting a slogan similar to that of the successful surfing brand: RIPCURL i.e.
#LIVE THE SEARCH.
A huge part of Rassie’s success has been ‘ living the search – living the game – living the journey’ – and bringing through the awesome talent which we have in South Africa – the Mapimpi’s, the Nkosi’s, the Kolisi’s , the Pollard’s, the deKlerk’s and many more.
Rassie developed new heroes – humble new heroes.
Hopefully we can now say that the days of quotas are over for teams who adopt the right culture.
You have to earn your place if you want to represent your country – you have to sacrifice to play for your country – in Rassie’s own wise words.
He instilled a new way that things will be done.
Let’s all hope that Graeme Smith can do likewise.
#LIVE THE SEARCH.LIVE THE GAME
ps : Your feedback and thoughts are always appreciated.
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Rob Opie is a Brand Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Author, Performance Coach to Business & Sports Teams – and Life Coach to those on a journey to self-actualisation.
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