One of my favorite shows at the moment is CNBC’s, The Profit. The basic premise of the show is that millionaire investor, Marcus Lemonis, finds failing businesses, evaluates them, and then provided he feels the business has potential, invests in the company for a certain percentage of ownership. He then establishes a road map to success by helping them understand what aspects of their business are broken.
In the show, Marcus preaches three main constructs which he feels are necessary for a successful business:
In reality, a high performance team working with a sports franchise is no different and these three constructs are actually incredibly valuable for determining what areas your high performance team needs to improve upon or where you may need to make some changes in order to have better success and be more efficient.
“Do we have the right people in the right positions?” When thinking about this question it is important to not only think about skill set and ability but also whether or not they work well as part of a team. A lot of times, teams or universities are afraid to let someone go because they have “been there for a long time” or they are “a nice guy”. I understand this can be a tough thing but at the end of the day, keeping people around that are unable to contribute to the level and expectation that is needed is going to create more problems and frustration in the long run. It makes sense to part ways and ensure that the people you are putting together on the staff have a very high level of skill set and interest in continuing to learn and push things to new levels. Additionally, it is important to move along from those who are insecure and create turf wars between departments. These individuals can tear a team apart in a second and create problems within the high performance team. A high performance team is one that is collaborative across the main player support departments – Sports Science, Athletic Training/Medical, and Strength & Conditioning. If the people within the staff are not interested in collaboration and working together then the high performance team will never work. In the Profit, Marcus evaluates people within the businesses he invests in and, at times, is forced to make the decision (with the other owners he has partnered with) to let people go who are not willing or able to satisfy the need of working collaboratively in a successful business.
Marcus is a stickler for process. His famous quote in the show, after handing over a check for his investment and becoming a part owner is, “I may be a part owner but I am 100% in charge”. Oftentimes, where businesses fail is not in the people or the product, but in the process. They can’t seem to put the appropriate processes in place to ensure that product gets manufactured at the right cost, without wasting money, or the product gets ordered at the right amount, without having a back log of inventory. Being a successful entrepreneur, Marcus sets up some very specific processes for these companies to ensure that business is performed in an efficient and timely manner. Within the high performance team environment this process is essential. What is the flow of data – how is it collected, processed, analyzed, and then distributed and discussed amongst all support staff and key stakeholders in the building? Things can be very busy in a professional or university team environment, making these processes even more critical. Oftentimes, information falls through the cracks because there is not a process in place for ensuring that people on the staff get together and meet on a daily basis to discuss the data and develop a plan about what to do with the data – turning data into action.
Finally, product. Obviously a high performance team isn’t making any product; however, a high performance team is serving the athlete to ensure that athlete’s health and wellness is cared for during their time with the team. This “product” is really the outcome of having great people, with a high skill set and standard for excellence, who can work together and having great processes in place, ensuring that the information flow between departments is fluid and efficient.
Collectively, these three constructs will ultimately determine the success that your high performance team has and their ability to adequately effect the athlete’s within the training environment ultimately decreasing injury and improving performance.