Updated: Sep 17, 2020
It seems to me that trying to get teams (not just in sport) to perform is so often treated like it is a math equation. Something like this (again...true for more than just sport):
Optimal Performance=Reps+Feedback+Transfer+Physiological factors/badphysiology+emotionalturmoil+externalunknowns
Not only was this ridiculously challenging to type on here but it is something that has had A LOT of research injected into it. Money, time, and resources have all led to trying understand this at the best level like a math problem.
And we have done a pretty good job of that.
We know we need sport specific experts, strength experts, marketing experts, financial experts, psychological experts, etc.
But what if our real need is a chef?
Mathematicians are really really good at finding outcomes based on combining variables. But their variables have a fixed value a lot of the time.
1 is always 1. 1 is never 5.
But in leadership, team environments, coaching, PERFORMING, and cooking; we know that some teams the "Feedback" component is worth 5 and the "Reps" component is worth 1. This can be opposite as well.
Maybe the "Emotional Turmoil" component is a 10 in your group but in mine it is only a 2.
Garlic can be great. Garlic can also be gross.
All of our variables have different values depending on way they are mixed together. They change and adapt constantly.
So maybe, what we need to reach optimal performance is a chef.
Someone who says, "I'm going to throw way more cinnamon in this thing and it might be horrible but I believe it could be great. Here it goes!". Then if it tastes horrible, they tweak the recipe.
Sooner or later that thing is going to be a masterpiece.
This means that in order to create the masterpiece you truly have to connect with, and understand, your ingredients.
You have to understand them and know how they work with each other AND on their own. Some can be a bit spicy and some can be a bit bland, and they all can be magnified or blunted depending on the situation.
This can lead to short term success...but what does it look like over time?
If we approach performance like a math problem, with variables that stay the same and are not dynamic: we will have performance that stays the same and is not dynamic. If we approach performance like a recipe, with variables that are constantly adapting, changing, and growing, we will have performance that is constantly adapting, changing and IMPROVING.