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Monday, 20 December 2010


“Fail to prepare and you prepare to fail” is a car sticker / note on the ‘shed’ wall / post it in back office that you will have seen at many sports clubs you have visited.
“Get organized in defense” is the key to success in most team games.
“Do you know what you are doing?? Do you have a plan” is often the first questions asked of any sports set up.
So - getting organized / having a plan is pretty key.  You think.....???
Let’s look at an example.
Man vs Horse.
Who wins??  Quick answer please......  

If you say “Horse” - then this blog is for you.  It’s quick, it’s easy and it seems obvious.  
But you don’t even know what the human and equine are battling over.  If the comp is to knit a tea cosy - then Old Mother Hubbard will take on Red Rum any day of the week.  If it is to drive a car round the Sepang Circuit - then even if we find a car big enough for the smallest of horses - the odds are still going to be stacked pretty heavily in man’s favour...
Ok - so maybe it was a trick question...   You did not know what our two modern day Jesse Owens and Sea Biscuit were battling over. Let’s ask again - 
Man vs Horse in a foot race.  Who wins??
If you say “Horse” now - then maybe this blog is not for you - but read on anyway.  The clue was in the first question - surely you realize another trick question was afoot....  
Again - it is not a simple question.   Without full detail on what the race is, you are going to struggle to win any large bets -  a race on an open field - with no track for a horse to follow its urges - will see horse run away from the finish as often as it runs towards it.  Man can amble his way forward whilst the horse chomps merrily on the grass.
Without any knowledge of whether there is a gun jockey in the saddle, whether the horse has been properly trained, how long the race is, where it is (a race up Mount Everest will test even the greatest of Red Rum’s breed), and all manner of other myriad factors - and the race result will be in doubt.  It won’t be simple, it won’t be easy.
And that - rather long winded analogy - is a very similar state of affairs to the way that many sports organizations are run.
It’s fun, it’s exciting, decisions are made based on what seems obvious, often based on passion (NOTE - there is nothing wrong with passion - that’s why we do it) but without reason (NOTE - there is plenty wrong with a lack of reasoning).  Decision makers at any level just want to get on with it - they don’t want to get delayed when there is fun to be had.  “Which players to sign?”, “What games do we wan to go to?”, “Do I get to meet their star player?”, “How exciting is this!!!”
Sport more than any other business can bring the worst out of decision makers.  We are that there is so much to get passionate about (and when it works - it can’t be beaten).   But be it passion, be it blind loyalty, be it ignorance - it is littered with clubs that have made lots and lots and lots of bad decisions.  
And for me - the root of these decisions is the lack of organization or the lack of a meaningful and relevant plan.
It should be the most simple thing in the world - 
  • What do we want to do?
  • How are we going to do it?
Get organized / get a plan.
It is simple - so do it.
  • Know what you are doing - define targets / define success
  • Get control over what you are doing - understand parameters / take the reins
  • Agree and establish a plan.
  • NOTE - pitfalls await at every turn - but you’ll be ready (at least after a few more of these.....)
Sure - there is a lot more complexity to the detail behind these questions and answers - and a lot more questions to come - but if you get organized and STAY organized - then you sure are better placed to deal with these complexities.

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