Lehmann might try this 3 step approach to reinvention
Australian cricket coach, Darren Lehmann has bristled at a press conference when Pat Howard (General Manager of High Performance) suggested that he might need to reinvent himself as a coach.
According to one report:
‘Lehmann did not enjoy being told through the press by team performance manager Pat Howard that he needed to “reinvent” himself as a coach following the recent run of five consecutive defeats, a streak that also coincided with the release of an autobiographical book, Coach, which outlines his philosophies.’
Let’s assume that Pat Howard is right and Darren Lehmann needs to reinvent himself as a coach.
This would seem a reasonable assumption given that the Australian Test Team had lost 5 matches in a row up to their recent win.
It also seems reasonable given that Pat Howard is ultimately responsible for the performance of all forms of Australian Cricket.
A 3 step approach:
My suggestion to Darren is that he follows this 3 step approach.
I have used this with many managers and leaders as they try and reinvent their brands, organisations and careers in some cases.
Step 1: What is working?
The starting point is to work out exactly what is working as a coach.
And further what are his core beliefs or philosophies as a coach e.g. to play bright, attacking cricket that wins games and entertains spectators.
Until recently Darren had achieved a high level of success with his team (not discounting the captain Steve Smith of course).
So he can coach.
These successful and enduring principles should not be abandoned.
In fact, if anything these core principles or beliefs need to be revisited.
Step 2: What can you let go off?
This is the hard part.
There may be some aspects of Darren’s coaching style or behaviour that he could change completely or let go of or delete entirely.
Remember the Mickey Arthur homework episode?
The core idea behind this is a good one (i.e. asking players to reflect on their performance) but the implementation of this (i.e. asking professional players to complete and hand in a written homework sheet) was insulting, juvenile and divided the team.
The key message?
He has to work out what he could let go off without abandoning his core coaching principles.
Step 3 – Everything else can be reinvented
There are the core principles that are working.
Then there is the practices, behaviours or activities that can be overturned or deleted.
In between these 2 is the reinvention space.
Potentially everything in this space can be reinvented.
It could be the way practice is run or the team meeting is conducted for example (ask the new players to run it) or how the team warms up etc.
The reinvention does not have to be big.
But it needs to be ongoing.
Reinvention signals you are willing to change, adapt and grow both as a coach.
It’s also a powerful signal to the playing staff.
Reinvent or face decline.
Reinvent or be disrupted.
Even the biggest, most successful brands like McDonalds for example have to constantly reinvent itself (e.g. Think of Drive Through or Customise your Burgers etc).
My point is this, Pat Howard had every right to ask Darren to reinvent himself.
It’s the way forward for every leader and coach in today’s fast-changing, disruptive world.