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Thursday, 16 February 2012



So my plans to increase my blog output failed to happen.  My bad.  To be honest - my double bad.  I would apologies and say things are going to improve but you have heard it all before – and as they say action is louder than words (expect perhaps if you a Lumberjack) – so watch this space.

Today – the Oman National team take on Wigan Athletic in one of the most unlikely match ups in my career to date.  London Broncos Rugby League taking part in the Dubai Union 7’s (little did I know 10 or so years ago that I would be back in the region full time.  The Broncos were my life back then – many lessons learnt since then!).

It is the first in a series of 4 big games in the next 2 weeks that could quite possibly shape my career out here.  No pressure then.  Thankfully – the real issues are pitch side – though we (at the mighty OFA) have implemented some changes to try to beef up the interest levels / the commitment levels (and of course) the income levels earned on an Omani match day.

Change is always a tough beast to master – and where change is taking place in the glare of 10k people, with no real opportunity for testing – that change ramps up the pressure.  We all have ideas about how our sports club should be running, about what we should do to improve the returns to our business.  And tbh there is very little to guide each of us in what is the right path to take.  In sports – where you deal with different cultures (as I am finding out here), different history and different geography even in the the same 10 mile radius – there are often many right routes to market.

So when it comes time to making those changes – especially on match day – where every punter who turns up has made a commitment to you of sorts (they made the effort to come did they not) – there are some key rules to follow to ensure change does not let you down.
  • ·         Don’t bite off more than you can chew – look at where you are coming from, look at the resources you have, and act accordingly.  Read the situation well and know what you are doing.
  • ·         Get organized.  Last minute rarely means first place.   Budgets / staffing / communication / planning / the list (organized of course) goes on.
  • ·         Make it fun – at the end of the day – if people are smiling – even mistakes can be overcome.  But if you get it all right and it is fun – then what’s not to like.  Remember – there is no correct oath to take – but if you follow Laughter Lane or Cheery Close – then your path won’t be the wrong one.
  • ·         Don’t make promises you cannot keep.  Be open, be honest, be communicative with people.  If you are struggling – then do not hide it (where there is risk of failure leading to bigger problems).  Work with people, let them see your effort.

ON reflection – Organizing changes to your match day is much like doing the same with a blog.
  • ·         My resources (here I go – about to blame them) – have been meager these 3 months (Internet at home just complete!!!).  With my resources improved however – I still do not go overboard with the planned changes (to my blogging schedule) – as I know the history.  Let’s just see shall we….
  • ·         Get organized – I have been meaning to prepare a plan for when and what about I should blog for ages.  No plan – no blogging (despite the resource issue).  See – it works  - this advice thing!!
  • ·         Make it fun.  The only reason (or main reason) I have continued with my blog is because I enjoy writing.  It’s FUN – with a capital F U N.
  • ·         No promises.  End of.  I have learnt thanks.

So – if you are in the area – pop on over to Seeb Stadium (Muscat for those that don’t know.  Oman – for those that really don’t know.  The Middle East dummy – for those that must have flunked out of high school when the Geography teacher rocked up)).  Entry is free – and there are loads of exciting changes to check out!!!

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