Think culture of innovation, support for all employees, transparency with media, health + wellness, etc. Do folks think that it creates any real results on the floor? Or does it start with player talent then we prescribe an organization to have a great culture that leads to winning? To a majority part of this this topic I drew my thoughts from John Wooden’s “Pyramid of Success” though.
A huge struggle in basketball is instilling a winning culture and its not an easy thing. However how much does team performance gets affected by organizational culture? You can have a great bunch of guys that can’t perform or produce yet they can be great off the court. That is not the point though at all. I’ll take two organizations that have built amazing organizational cultures… One, the San Antonio Spurs and the other CSKA Moscow.
In both cases of the names mentioned it should be taken into account that it takes seasons on end to build up the level of an understanding of winning, success and it relies on repeating and making good habits routine.
The Spurs as well as CSKA have been two pillars of basketball on in the US the other in Europe. They have been conveyor belts of instilling good habits into players and overall.
In part the work I do partially as a consultant is bringing in the understanding that analytics as a solution tool can predominantly assist in the organizational culture and achievements of good habits through routine. How you may ask? Well simply put, once a team understands that through analyzing and relying their decision making objectively/subjectively there are outcomes as seen in the below chart come out.
While the Golden State Warriors commercialized the coined term “Strength in Numbers” the fact of the matter is the Spurs were behind the concept way earlier in the mid 90s.
On the other side of the pond on the other hand CSKA Moscow have had the tradition of building a successful organization and bringing in the mentality of winning by adopting as well as adapting to the times. As an organization CSKA come from a military pedigree hence the overall understanding that culture of winning and succeeding had been in their history is there. In European basketball it’s a very rare occurance that teams from such astounding backgrounds usually struggle yet the rate of success that CSKA have had is also pretty amazing. They have modernized the way not just Russian basketball is seen nowadays both in the Euroleague as well as while competing in the VTB League but they have managed to instill the fact that diverse player and personality traits while clashing can also push the entire organization to succeed at a steady pace.
One other aspect that organizational culture contributes to especially with analytics involvement is that it eliminates complency very fast and allows you to see whom inside your organization is not willing to change to succeed or adapt accordingly.
Brands such as Nike, Adidas and more recently Under Armour all and go through similar strides. They seek out athletes that perform well and see them as the future role models to their brands. Don’t forget that in order to be seen this way an athlete needs to be coming from a cultural organization that has instilled the habit of winning into them.
End note; winning on or off the court, if your club/team or organization in basketball allows you to adapt to a necessary change that will take the form of winning off the court. It will definitely become a point of on court performance in no time. Players as well as the coaching staff will strive for achieving better results and win more games.