"Culture eats strategy for breakfast."
Ideally, both culture and strategy interact; each positively influencing the other. In many scenarios though, strategy is given priority without much thought into creating a desirable "culture" among an organization.
This is can be a problem...
1) People are loyal to culture, not strategy.
2) Culture provides resilience in tough times.
3) Culture is more efficient than strategy.
4) When strategy and culture collide, culture will win.
5) Strategies can be copied, but no one can copy your culture.
*From this slide-share
How can culture play a role in reducing injuries in elite sport though?
"We should also be aware, that the culture of an organization as a whole, and the psycho-social influences on each individual player within it, can have a modifying effect on the model at every stage."
How much easier would it be to collect training load data if you work in a culture that values building [genuine] relationships with players? I don't know about you, but so far in my young career it's been much easier asking a player to wear a Catapult device when I have a solid relationship with them and they know I'm doing it in their best interest. A team can have the best load management system in place but if the culture doesn't support this, either by an entire organization/staff buying into it AND players having a basic understanding of why information is being collected, then the system (read: "strategy") will lose when it collides with culture (see #1 and #4 above)
What about working in a collaborative culture?
How awesome would it be if every working environment in elite sport was a collaborative culture?
ESPECIALLY between a medical and performance staff, which is often divided???
Returning to sport, one of the injury prevention pyramid levels depicted in Figure 1 above, should be a collaborative effort and include the athlete, coach, medical and performance staff, etc.
If culture doesn't support collaboration among an organization, how likely is collaboration going to happen when returning an athlete to sport?
What about a culture of excellence?
Where the little things matter?
Think about how awesome a pre-practice warm-up would be.
Or getting players to actively take part in their recovery.
Or getting enough sleep.
The so-called 'little' things...
Basketball players are notorious for not wanting to lift weights... therefore, if a culture isn't created by the individuals working as a part of the performance staff that demonstrates/educates the value of consistent strength and conditioning, how likely are players going to be excited to take part?
Think about the value S&C can have when the benefits of consistent participation in S&C (and recovery!) are known by every player and person in an organization. If anything, it allows for much easier player buy-in.
In my opinion, this is where hiring the right people comes into play.
It's like what Jon Gordon says in his book, "you have to get the right people on the bus before you move the bus."
Bringing together the 'right' people to an organization can play an incredibly important role when it comes to creating a culture. You can define "right" however you'd like, but just be sure not to discount the maybe-not-so-obvious such as a growth-mindset, enthusiasm, etc.
As I continue to inch closer to my goal of becoming a part of a high performance staff in the National Basketball Association, I'm thankful to have been exposed to the impact a culture can have on the success of an organization.