Sunday, October 24, 2010

To bend a bamboo, start when it is a shoot.

Core values tend to drive an institution's strategy and decisions and contribute in a definitive manner to its success.  The very culture of the organization is determined by its values and philosophy.

These values are the ideals and inspiration that guide the decisions and actions taken by an institution and by its individual employees, be it in sports or the business world.

Thus this message is directed to the National Sports Council, which has come under fire of late, allegedly for its miss-management of funds of poor handling of its debts.

What has been established is that NSC is not bankrupt, nor is it poorly administrated. It is just that its senior officials are victims of a political game being played by certain characters out to undermine the current administration and hoping for a change after the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
The fact that in the Commonwealth Games, the contingent won 12 gold medals has somewhat put a spanner in the works of these crude officials who will stop at nothing to make Malaysian sports their domain.

The writing is on the wall; poor results in these two multi sports events was to set  a plan in motion, ousting of the Director General topping the agenda.

As organizations grow and develop, their culture changes. It is recognized that these values are influenced by past, present, and future attitudes and principles. Sadly it’s the poor attitudes that are bane of the NSC as birds of a feather flock together.

Core values are the essential and enduring tenets of an organization - the very small set of guiding principles that have a profound impact on how everyone in the organization thinks and acts.

Core values require no external justification. They have intrinsic value and are of significant importance to those inside the organization.

Core values are deep, very deep. They are extremely important.  Thus sports and business share similarities when the issue of core values is discussed.

This first core value in both the aspects is the fundamental business strategy which in sports and business focuses on forging strong, long-term relationships with clients, in the case of sports it is the clients, which are the national sports associations, OCM as well as the sports loving fans of this great nation.

Sound client/fans relationships the most important contributor to success and both the business sector as well as sports as the clients can cement these relationships by providing superior customer value and by continuously improving performance. But this is lacking today, as accountability seems to be thrown out of the window.

Officials from NSC are no angels too as they play a major role in the elections of office bearers of national sports associations, and mind you this is not something that is happening of late but it is a parasite that irritates the sporting fraternity for the last two decades.

So the current NSC Director General must take stock of the current situation in our sporting world. Let NSC become a partner of sports and not an enforcer, as that is the role of the Sports Commissioner.

NSC must be not only being seen as friendly, but must inculcate a sense of responsibility towards its stakeholders. It should not be seen as highhanded but more as a counterpart to the national sports association in the true essence of the 1 Malaysia spirit.

What the NSC DG must remember is that as in business, employee talent in sports is the cornerstone of success.

Their expertise and capabilities deliver or perform the work thereby creating values for clients, and generate loyalty from investors, in this case the potential sponsors and the fans alike.

It pays to create an environment where employees meet fresh, exciting challenges and experience the satisfaction of a job well done. Winning 10 medals or more at the Commonwealth Games or Asian Games is not the only way; consistency throughout the year is what we all want.

Yes we won 10 gold medals at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, we won 111 gold medals at the 2001 Sea Games, but that is the past. Some of those involved in sports today cannot even name the 10 gold medal winners of the 898 Games in Kuala Lumpur.

But how do we get people to share our core values one might ask. You don't. You can't.

Just find people that are "predisposed" to share your values and purpose, attract and retain those people, and let those who don't share your values go elsewhere.

This entire exercise is about having your integrity in - in the sense of your authentic values and your courage to act congruently all of the time.

And could it be that the seemingly unending quest for the answer - will ultimately take you back to the beginning - to what you are and what you stand for? And perhaps, this could be the first step to the beginning ... on the path to greatness.