Learning from the Pandemic: The Future

In the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic, Sportsology hosted a number of interactive roundtable discussions with senior leaders from major sports teams and leagues. Featuring 125 participants from 59 organizations, the sessions were an invaluable opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic.

During the sessions, we learned a huge amount from leaders navigating the crisis in real time. Broadly speaking, those insights fell into five categories:

  • Finance
  • Business
  • People
  • Communication
  • The Future

Over the next few weeks we’ll be presenting selected insights from the roundtables in article form so that others can learn from the experiences shared by those who participated in the sessions.

In this article, we’re looking at the learnings around preparing for the future beyond the pandemic that emerged from the discussions.

Calendar Elasticity

There are three phases to every crisis: entering it, managing it, and exiting it. Have plans in place for each phase but recognize that the calendar can expand or contract in response to events.

Avoid Salami Slicing

‘Salami slicing’ is the practice of cutting evenly across departments in times of financial difficulty. There is very little evidence that this ever works. Understand your organization’s core strengths and protect them accordingly. Be forensic and surgical.

Scenario Planning

Consider organizational structures and behaviors. Ensure that the teams engaged in scenario planning are multifunctional in nature. Make sure that best practices are retained after the pandemic.

Functional Analysis

It’s not enough to simply say “let’s go lean”. What does that really mean in a functional sense? Which functions can go and which must stay? Don’t revert to the old ways when the pandemic has passed – stay smart going forward.


Your logistics team must work more closely with the playing staff. Co-location is still key to the exchange of ideas.

Integrated Analytics

Now is the ideal time to work on your own understanding of analytics and integrate the analytics department with coaching.

Chris Mann is Head of Content at Sportsology

Image: Drew Beamer/Unsplash

To learn about Sportsology’s full portfolio of products and advisory services, visit our website or email [email protected].

For any enquiries or requests related to the Research Academy, email [email protected].