Our latest research paper, What It Takes To Win: A Winning Formula For Elite Teams, discusses a model that helps sports organizations find clarity and generate strategy around the factors that create competitive advantage in their context. Over the coming weeks we’ll be exploring the framework and discussing how organizations can use it to lay the foundations for sustainable success.
“Never confuse genius with luck.” (John C. Bogle)
Once your organization has implemented the What It Takes To Win (WITTW) model, how should it be assessed? Naturally, winning is a good indicator but that can be transient.
The problem is that if you do not recognize when you’ve been lucky you can fool yourself into thinking that your performance was the result of your own genius. It rarely is. Understanding exactly why and how you won is the key to sustained success.
Employing the WITTW methodology to create consistently high performance enables a level of proactivity in designing winning strategies, as opposed to retrospectively analyzing why winning happened. At its core must be a willingness to commit to exposing your organization’s collective expertise to the evidence – objective or otherwise – and then committing to acting upon the results.
That crucial exposure to evidence becomes the ultimate test of the process as it’s the only way to see if it’s fundamentally working. It’s also important to remember that ‘working’ is only something that applies in that specific moment. As the competitive landscape changes, so the approach must adapt in order to sustain the success it is achieving.
Owning The Detail
Beware, however, of the temptation to change or pivot your strategy at every sniff of a threat or transient underperformance. By investing in the creation of a deep, shared understanding of the factors which make winning inevitable for your team, you will create a robust, unemotional perspective that allows for sound decisions rather than knee-jerk reactions should results not go to plan for a certain amount of time.
In complex environments like team sport, winning is often spoken about in either very general terms or overly specific, narrow ones. Both miss the realities and opportunities which come from creating deep understanding through systematic work. Every organization will have a different definition of winning and for each there are several possible ways to win. Owning the detail of how to win by capitalizing on the unique strengths and vision your organization owns is a positive and empowering endeavour which has to be at the heart of long-term success.
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