The 1st round of the NFL playoffs wrapped up this evening and as I took in some of the games, I couldn’t help but think about how an organizational systems consultant could have a major impact on a sports team. I have no doubt that there are people similar to organizational consultants who do work within the organization and focus on these kinds of issues, but I don’t know that this would be enough. I’ve mentioned before that I think it is important to have someone from outside the organization be involved because the outsider will look at the organization without any bias — at least, that would be the hope.
Just as there are in Fortune 500 companies, sports teams have many levels, different departments, and on top of this, all of the ‘stuff’ that the employee of a given position will bring to their job. Meaning, if Joe is the Director of Media Relations for a sports team who just had a major fight within the locker room and Joe has come into work after having a major disagreement with one of his teenage daughters, that disagreement from home will likely (no matter how well-intentioned Joe is) bleed into his meetings with various media personnel. An organizational systems consultant may see something like this coming and have put something in place so that instead of Joe talking with the media (and potentially causing bad press for the team), Joe’s second-in-command handles the media for that day.
Even beyond these kinds of incidents within someone’s family or a dispute between a player and a coach, sometimes there just isn’t the right gelling of players together to create a cohesive environment for success. This is where an organizational systems consultant could use their abilities to work with the underlying energies behind-the-scenes affecting the output of the players, coaches, and team personnel. Have you ever seen a player get traded from one team to another and just completely underperform on his new team? Often, this is because the new player has not been ‘energetically’ disconnected from his old team and ‘energetically’ connected to his new team. It’s amazing how simple procedures like this can have the player flourishing that night.
This example is quite small in terms of the power of affecting the energetic relationships of a sports team. Let’s take a baseball team, for instance. The pitchers and catchers need to have a good relationship for their to be any success for the pitcher. Another important relationship is between the players on the field and the pitcher on the mound. Let’s say that the pitcher has a belief system that whenever he pitches and Richie is playing shortstop, Richie makes an error. While this may be the case (statistically speaking), the pitcher’s belief of this to be true has an effect. The pitcher takes the mound and looks to the shortstop’s area where Richie is standing in the ready position. The pitcher thinks to himself, ‘oh no, not Richie again. He always boots the ball when I’m on the mound.’ The pitcher throws the next pitch and there’s a soft groundball to the shortstop. Without fail, Richie makes an error.
An instance like this can be avoided if there was a shift in the energetic relationship between the two players (and an alteration in the belief system). These kinds of fixes are very easy to facilitate on the energetic level and they always have an effect on the way a player plays. When this kind of change is made, energetically, often you will find that the player will just forget that they ever used to have that belief system — it’s like it just disappeared. The next time the pitcher takes the mound, he doesn’t even think about Richie playing shortstop and when the ball gets hit to him, Richie makes the play easily.
These kinds of examples for on-the-field performance are useful, but it is also important to have a fortified connection within the personnel (coaches, managers, owner, etc.). Let’s say that the Director of Scouting (DoS) doesn’t like the General Manager (GM). This could be for something that actually happened between the two or it could be something more subtle. It could just be that the GM was never liked by the DoS and the DoS never knew why. It could be that the reason there is a rift between these two people of the team personnel is because there is some other energetic charge that is influencing the relationship. Maybe the GM reminds the DoS of his father of which he had a poor relationship with – who knows! Regardless, it would be important for someone to be able to positively effect change in this relationship, so that the DoS doesn’t keep sending players to the GM who have below-professional talent.
In looking at the state of the sports world, I wonder if teams that appear to be very successful from year-to-year are employing someone who can bring about the kind of change that I am talking referring to. Something tells me that this is probably not the case. This makes me wonder, which sport, or even which team, will synchronistically meet someone like me who is capable of actualizing this kind of change and reap the benefits for years to come.