Sporting Mind event hears the recipe for a winning culture

There are five main types of organisational culture but if you can achieve a ‘commitment culture’ you’ve hit the jackpot.

Professor Damian Hughes, author and sports psychology consultant at the ACPSEM Sporting Mind symposium on 22 September

That was the message from Damian Hughes, author and sports psychology consultant, at an Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports and Exercise Medicine (ACPSEM) event.

He said lessons from his new book, The Barcelona Way: Unlocking the DNA of a Winning Culture, could be applied to a wide range of organisations and teams.

Mr Hughes was speaking to the ACPSEM Sporting Mind symposium at the Imperial War Museum in London on 22 September.

He focused on Barcelona FC after they won the Champions League in 2006 but then ‘fell off a cliff’ and won nothing for the next two years. His book charts their progress in building a ‘commitment culture’ under the leadership of manager Pep Guardiola.

Mr Hughes said too many organisations made the mistake of coming up with a ‘shopping list’ of behaviours they expect from employees. But Barcelona had just three: ‘humility’, ‘hard work’ and ‘team first’.

He asked the audience of over 80 physios: ‘Are you clear about the trademark behaviours in your department or organisation? Because the danger is, when these behaviours are not clearly communicated and agreed, decision-making becomes subjective and there’s a lack of consistency.’

And he urged against just copying what other teams do. ‘It will mean nothing in your culture. If you take something as a gimmick it will be destined to wither and die.’

The theme of the ACPSEM symposium was understanding the influence of the brain on physical performance.

For a full report from the event see an upcoming issue of Frontline.

The room bounds at the ACPSEM ‘18 Symposium — thanks to @rachaelmoses for sharing   #thepaincoach  #energisingphysio  @KMiddletonCSP  @thecsp  @physiosinsport

— Richmond Stace (@painphysio) September 22, 2018

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