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  • Writer's pictureOli Shawyer

Is there a strategic silver lining in this...?

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

It's been a tumultuous time for those working in sports administration for some months now. Across the world, in response to the pandemic, there have been massive cuts in administration budgets in lieu of eye-watering amounts of revenue being wiped from existence somewhat overnight.

Noting that so many people have written about the impact that's going to have on sports, leagues, clubs and individuals throughout, it did prompt another thought when trying to find some positivity (if you're willing to be open-minded) out of the current situation.

Whilst not suggesting that every single league or club are identical within the following, one potential opportunity to come from having our hands forced is that surrounding the need to be more strategic. Often the luxuries of the rich and powerful (or those that were) comes unfocused strategies with laundry lists of desirable outcomes, that mostly only service the purpose of creating conflicting goals that then sees resources dedicated to accommodate such incompatible interests. For many working in leagues and clubs around the world, regardless of level, I've no doubt you can concur.

And as many know, in (I won't say purposefully) ignoring the need for genuine competence in planning, aligning and executing resource, comes bad strategy.

As we look forward, and work to make the best of a terrible situation, there comes a huge chance for leaders to develop good strategy and rid the habits, behaviours and approach that for too long has delivered the above outcomes all too familiar. A needed ability to say no to those same laundry lists and competing interests. As I've said to those will listen for many years now, strategy is as much, if not more, about what you don't do as it is what you do do.

Everyone bunkered down in this 'great pause' has, with uncertainty and fear, been given a lifeline and an opportunity to revisit and reset how we've always done things. Whilst a huge amount of today will be gobbled up with developing immediate tactics to survive and get through the next few weeks, months, good leaders will be head down planning - and hopefully, saying no a lot.


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