On the Tunney Side of the Street 44

by Jim Tunney

After Further Review ...

After further review... "If you just get everybody CARING about it the same amount - really, if you get the players to care about it more that the coaches do, that's when you have something special, I think", said Seattle Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck. The "it" Hasselbeck, the Seahawks starting quarterback, was talking about, is the culture of winning, ie., success, that first year Head Coach Pete Carroll brought to Seattle. Culture is Carroll's term.

Hasselbeck continued, "Why do you need to change the culture? The culture's not the issue here, winning- or lack of it- is". Question: Can a change in culture influence winning? If so, how important is it to success to a T*E*A*M or for that matter to any organization/company? Moreover, how do you do it, and what factors are needed?

Several years ago I was part of a study that identified what makes up the culture of an organization. We called it "climate" not culture. The words are interchangeable, and so are the factors as you will see here. We studied a variety of schools to determine what are those factors that could change the climate of a school from the negative to the positive. Isn't that what Carroll wanted to do in Seattle?

While I am not familiar with the specifics that Carroll used, I write with confidence that among them were similar elements we discovered in our climate research. We found these seven to be of vital importance in improving climate: 1) humanness; 2) opportunity for input; 3) caring; 4)individualization; 5) supportiveness; 6) innovativeness; and 7) suitability of working conditions. While you may want to add others, it is apparent that these 7 can be deciding factors in businesses, corporations, as well as in your community and family, and, of course, on a T*E*A*M (Together Everyone Accomplishes More).

Carroll's Seahawks finished only 7 - 9 but won the NFC West division, then defeated Super Bowl XlV Champs New Orleans Saints (41-36), before losing to the Chicago Bears ( 35-24 ). Carroll's culture, call it mindset if you wish, certainly included the above factors and will be vital to the 'Hawks' future.

So, what will Jim Harbaugh in his rookie year (2011) bring to the San Francisco 49ers to improve their culture and thus their performance? Of, course the same is true of other new head coaches in the NFL: John Fox (Broncos), Ron Rivera (Panthers) and Fred Shurmur (Browns).

Will you create a positive climate/culture/mindset in your organization?