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Establishing your team vision, values and KPIs.

I recently posted on Importance and process of individual goal setting and in that article I mentioned I would do a future blog on team building and goal setting. This is that article.

First off I think everyone is motivated by some personal goals. If you lose sight of that then eventually any team goal, vision or values may come under threat. What we need to believe and understand is how are personal goals can be enhanced by the team achieving goals and where we fit into the team goal, vision and values as an individual. I don't think you can have individual goals with out team goals and vice versa and be as successful.

I personally want to try and stay away from specific x's and o's here at the moment. There are many, many people with much more expertise on x's and o's than me. What I hope to do through this blog is post on things where I hope to add value to those that are interested. For the x's and o's I am sure we will find a guest blogger soon to discuss that or there may be other blogs/sites to look at on that subject.

Most of this process I have actually taken from another coach I was lucky enough to work under for a number of years in Liam Flynn who I was lucky enough to assist for a few years with the South Australia U16 State team. Liam was the master at team building, amongst many other things, and I remember one year when he used a specific war movie to help establish our values and culture. The team members set the culture and values but through the movie and discussion about the movie he helped the set the scene, expectations and direction for the team to establish the goals themselves.

Certainly "back in the day" when I was playing, or when I started coaching, the way coaches would motivate athletes is very different today. I think it has improved substantially. From where I sit there are much better techniques for motivating athletes available now rather than the old school extrinsic motivational techniques of which often involved threats of penalties, being dropped etc. I feel that we must work harder as coaches today to develop athlete's intrinsic motivation and that of the team.

Over recent years I have tried to not focus too much on outcome based goals in team goal setting. I think every team competing wants to win everything and if you focus on this every team will set a goal win tournament x, tournament y etc. etc. I have played and coached in successful teams and not so successful teams and at the end of each season or event I have I often felt a little bit empty regardless of the result. Like, what was the point of that? Did we win lots of money? No. Did we save lives? No. Well, what was the point of all that? I feel that setting outcome based goals are not what should be important to the team. The outcome is a culmination of the result of the journey and it is the journey which I want to focus on.

The journey will involve establishing a great, positive team culture that ultimately will generate development, learning, strong relationships between all team members and values driven by the team's vision and values. When you achieve these things success will be a byproduct and whether you ultimately win or not really does not matter too much. Albeit winning is more fun than losing.

The most important thing in the process is having good leaders. I've coached teams in the last few years with great leaders such as Alex Mudronja, Koen Sapwell and Ben Carter at the State level. At club level with my U18 Sturt team we never really had a captain as all the players were able to adequately lead in their own right but guys like Jacob Rigoni, Angus Rodman and Isaac White were certainly ones that the team generally looked up to and they bought into the process, and their team mates followed. Likewise in the state leadership group mentioned above these guys took the process very seriously and understood the value it would have to their whole experience.

Here is the process:

  1. Ask all team members to individually list things they like about teams they played in and things they did not like (under 5 items of each is ideal) . These things should be a combination of oncourt, style of game type things that can ultimately be measured by KPIs, and things that are more offcourt or oncourt intangibles that can ultimately relate to team values.

  2. I then delete double ups and group the statements by the ones that could lead to measureable KPIs and those that will lead to values.

  3. Bring the team together at some stage.

  4. Ask the team to break up into working groups.

  5. For value based statements, each group develops value statements that will enhance the things they like and mitigate the things they don't like.

  6. For statements that will lead to kpis, each group develop kpis for each statement. Before doing this I ask them to consider more complex measures. I don't believe stats are too worthwhile measuring in isolation for KPIs but you need to use ratios. EG: Assist to turnover ratio, defensive rebounds to their missed shots, shots in the key vs midrange vs 3 pt shots etc.

  7. Bring all the groups together, list their suggestions

  8. Have each team member of the team vote for the KPIs and Values on a 3, 2, 1 basis. Highest scores win.

  9. Discuss the values and KPIs to ensure everyone understands them and will support them.

  10. What I will then do is review all the suggestions for values and KPIs, the votes on each one then come up with a vision statement. I like to follow the BHAG principal. Set the vision to be a "big hairy audacious goal". Make it something that is sustainable into the foreseeable future

  11. Send the final values, KPIs and vision to the WHOLE (include managers, assistant coaches) for final approval.

Here is an example of what a very successsful team I coached came up with:

I feel over the couple of years with this group we succeeded in achieving our vision, values and KPIs most of the time. The whole process above was really important part of this as it got everyone on the same page and understanding what we wanted to do as a team. It was not my team it was OUR team and whilst we had individual goals (see previous blog) they did infact fit into our team goals.

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