Don’t let Mickey the HR guy ruin our cricket!

Kamran Bloach Roar Rookie

By Kamran Bloach, Kamran Bloach is a Roar Rookie


24 Have your say

    Mickey Arthur - new Australian cricket coach (Courtesy: Fox Sports)

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    Here’s a hypothetical situation, which brings the real corporate world into the weird and wonderful world of the Australian national team.

    William* is a young engineer who was hired by a multinational company and assigned to a project team.

    William’s new team had done very well in the past but lately they were struggling against stronger competitors and William was hired specifically to bridge skills gaps that were considered to be the main problem behind team’s lacklustre performance.

    William eagerly looked forward to working in the field with rest of team members but was asked to stay back at the office for time being.

    For a few months, William kept waiting for his opportunity and in the meanwhile, William’s project team continued to perform poorly and things turned to the worst when they made a complete mess of an important project.

    Significant losses were incurred due to silly and avoidable mistakes made by some of the existing team members.

    Company’s management was not happy about this situation and HR head came up with the idea of having an offsite session for all team members to get together and think about ideas to turn things around. A memo with details of the session was sent to all employees including William.

    Along with a few other things, all team members were asked to bring an old magazine to be used a team building activity.

    Although William had little or no idea about what was going wrong as he was still waiting to get out in the field and become a contributing member of the project team, he looked forward to the meeting as he felt assured about his long-waited inclusion in the team for the next project.

    He somehow forgot to bring the magazine that was required but was relieved to see a few others turning up without an old magazine in their hands.

    ‘Maybe it was not that important’, he thought to himself.

    The company’s HR head was known for his attention to detail among many other things and he quickly noticed that a few employees including William didn’t bring magazines and thus had failed to comply with his orders.

    ‘This poor attitude must be the real reason behind project team failures’, he thought to himself and quickly shared his views with head of the project team who seemed to agree with him.

    Instead of focussing on the issues directly related to team’s overall performance, the rest of the session was spent on emphasising that ignoring instructions from superiors was an indication of ‘poor attitude’ and could very well be the reason behind the downfall.

    William and a few others were then banned from possible inclusion into the field team for the next project.

    William’s story may sound ridiculous but many of us will identify with situations like these as they are not that uncommon in corporate sector.

    The corporate world can make it easy to lose focus of what really matters to the organisation because you can’t see individual actions directly contributing to the company success. But you can easily find reasons behind a sporting team’s success or failure by looking at a team members’ on field performances.

    Look at the last two Tests and it is easy to see that our failures are a direct result of our batsmen failing to apply themselves among a few other things.

    With Micky Arthur’s announcement to leave Watson, Khawaja, Pattinson and Johnson out of the team for 3rd test, what is really being implied?

    That, you are not accountable for your performance in the test match but you are accountable for complying with coach demands, some of those are now being laughed at by our past cricket legends.

    Similar to what happened in William’s case, focussing on wrong performance objectives will only get you wrong results.

    If ‘off-the-field’ behaviour becomes the primary focus, then how can you expect players to score runs and win matches when others can persistently fail and still not be held accountable as long as they keep submitting their homework.

    Cricket teams are not hierarchies and individual performance on the match day should matter more than anything else. Making ten thousands presentations will not help Phil Hughes fare any better against Ashwin’s spin bowling nor will intellectualising about his batting turn Ed Cowan into a match winning batsman.

    We are rewarding wrong behaviours and punishing on trivial matters instead of looking at real match performances. We must pursue the correct goals if we want to build a world-class team and there are better and more transparent performance indicators available to coaches such as bowling and batting statistics for players and win/lose ratio for captains than their ability to make presentations.

    If we want to dominate the cricket world again, we need to immediately stop this unnecessary focus on things that barely have an impact on players’ on ground performance and stick to bottom-line performance.

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    The Crowd Says (24)

    • March 12th 2013 @ 2:10pm
      Bradm said | March 12th 2013 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

      Excellent article..really spot on. Sutherland must give it a good read.

      • March 12th 2013 @ 7:35pm
        Ken Hambling said | March 12th 2013 @ 7:35pm | ! Report

        The reason for inclusion should be I can Bat, Bowl and Field. Let me have a crack at them, everyone else has, it can’t get anyworse? Fairdinkum! perhaps the selectors and coach can provide a reason why they should be retained.

      • Roar Guru

        March 13th 2013 @ 4:54am
        Harsh Sinha said | March 13th 2013 @ 4:54am | ! Report

        Completely agree with all the points!

    • Roar Guru

      March 12th 2013 @ 2:26pm
      AdamS said | March 12th 2013 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

      Simple extension of the corporatization of made to sell KFC baggy green brand.
      It’s not about the cricket anymore, hasn’t been for quite some time. Indian money and a brand image are all that are important.
      Used to be you picked a captain and he ran the team with the help of an older ex captain. Players didn’t need management and they certainly didn’t need a coach, who, frankly, can not possibly be good enough in all disciplines to coach a team of individual professional sportsment, who, in all likelihood have their own private coaches or trainers anyway.

      End of rant.

    • March 12th 2013 @ 2:30pm
      Red Kev said | March 12th 2013 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

      I would like to say that this is a well thought out and surprisingly clear article demonstrating the folly of messers Arthur and Clarke, but I have just been informed that you didn’t submit your morning wellness report questionnaire so I’m going to have to ban you from posting any more articles.

      • March 12th 2013 @ 2:41pm
        Bradm said | March 12th 2013 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

        Lol.. Mickey’s reaction mimics that of a wife who will keep you out in the cold night because you forgot her mother’s birthday

    • March 12th 2013 @ 3:16pm
      Big Merv's Jockstrap said | March 12th 2013 @ 3:16pm | ! Report

      First, the kiwis undermined our 2011 Rugby World Cup attempt by planting that double-agent Dingo Deans as our national coach. Well played, NZ.

      Next, the South Africans used exactly the same tactic by planting their own doubl-agent Mickey Mouse as our cricket coach.

      And who is now the world’s number one ranked test team? Coincidence? I think not.

      The fix is in.

      • March 12th 2013 @ 3:18pm
        Bradm said | March 12th 2013 @ 3:18pm | ! Report

        Completely agree

    • March 12th 2013 @ 5:07pm
      Silver_Sovereign said | March 12th 2013 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

      absolutely deans and Arthur are definitely onto something with coaching other countries. this bad and mediocre results that are accepted by both coaches show they don’t give a stuff

    • Roar Rookie

      March 12th 2013 @ 5:29pm
      Reccymech said | March 12th 2013 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

      Good article with the analogy.

      Now, to play Devil’s Advocate regarding the two coaches (Deans & Arthurs). Coaches, like players, of any code of sport play for their next supper. Why would a coach either perceived and/or deliberately sabotage their own career, knowing all full well that a losing coach would be, or is putting the ‘full stop’ on their career.

      • March 12th 2013 @ 5:33pm
        Entwhistle said | March 12th 2013 @ 5:33pm | ! Report

        Cripes, the team is struggling and everyones crying out to do something , they do something and everyone whinges – like the drugs scandal in NRL only the insiders know all the facts and Clarke has backed the team management….

      • Roar Rookie

        March 12th 2013 @ 5:40pm
        Kamran Bloach said | March 12th 2013 @ 5:40pm | ! Report

        Good point but I am not sure if Mickey Arthur’s performance is being judged at all on team’s on-field performance as far as Cricket Australia is concerned. He has definitely lost a lot of respect and credibility with fans but if his paycheck is not being affected, he is probably not that much concerned about team’s performance and more concerned about keeping his control and making those people happy who can help him stay in his job. One of the underlying issues behind all this is the lack of accountability for Mickey and other selectors.

        • March 12th 2013 @ 7:34pm
          Ken Hambling said | March 12th 2013 @ 7:34pm | ! Report

          Good article Kamran, no doubt for me that Arthur is using this as a PR stunt to deflect attention from the fact that we are 2-0 down and blaming guys who didn’t even play, Johnson and Khawaja haven’t played a game yet. What its showing me is that we can’t have the captain as the selector and coach as selector as it leads to issues.