Culture can be described as ‘why we do things around here the way we do’. It is about shared meaning making and the passing of this from one generation to another through learned formal and informal daily interactions. When people know why they are doing something, they are more likely to feel compelled to give everything they have for that reason.

Step 1: Don’t build a team, breed cultures – with a powerful purpose

A club worth belonging to is one where the people feel part of something that enriches each other’s lives and adds to their personal sense of identity. In other words, it has meaning. By building cultures with a powerful purpose, it doesn’t matter so much who joins or leaves your club. New people will be deliberately introduced to your club cultures so that they can contribute to carrying on the traditions, rituals and values of the established way of being together.

For example:

  • To improve the lives of the people in our community.
  • To provide fun, safe and quality sporting experiences every time.
  • To grow the love of sport.

Step 2: Create a movement – based on common values

Discuss what it means to be part of your club and choose up to five reasons that are the most common. If all your members can align their personal values with these, everyone in your club will have a sense of purpose, certainty, momentum and fulfillment. Having shared values is vital in order to set goals; stay motivated; find a sense of direction; establish deeper meaning in life; control daily habits and develop a strong collective self-esteem.

For example:

  • One club – we always do it together, working toward one purpose. We challenge one another, and we work together.
  • Be bold – we believe, we can, we do. We never settle and accept the challenges that come our way.
  • Change lives – we are in the pursuit of fuelling sport addictions and helping people be the best they can be.

Step 3: Educate and support all your people – on how they can deliver on the purpose

The more your people are informed, trained and encouraged to live your club values and work towards the common purpose, the more likely you’ll get aligned behaviours. What matters most is not what people do, but what that work means to them. Take time to explain and remind people of your club’s purpose and values.

For example:

  • Upskilling people to coach – which fosters confidence and competence – and leads to increased member retention.
  • Developing and updating the club’s website – which increases the effectiveness of the club’s brand – and enhances the members’ collective identity.
  • Cleaning the facility every week – which improves health and safety – and creates a welcoming place to be for both members and guests.

Remember, the more time spent fostering your club’s culture, the more effective your club’s structure will be in delivering its strategy.

More information

For other ideas about how you can structure and manage your club click here.