Lots has been written already about the mighty* Richmond Tigers’ transformation from finishing 13th on the AFL ladder in 2016 to holding the premiership cup aloft in 2017.

Compelling stories have emerged from behind the scenes of the playing group’s evolution from missing the finals to winning the big dance that is the grand final.

These stories include the self-reflective leadership approach coach Damien Hardwick and captain Trent Cochin dedicated themselves to: The weekly presentations where team members bared their souls and shared their struggles in life and in footy; the commitment to the ‘one-percenters’, again on and off the field e.g. the tidying of the gym after training and players sweeping the change room floors after games.

The part that has fascinated me most is the revelation from journalist Konrad Marshall in The Age where he wrote that the one word that defined Richmond’s 2017 transformation was ‘connection’.

Konrad, who has had the privilege of being behind the scenes with the Tigers all year, wrote how Hardwick, Cochin and the entire list of Tigers players had committed to connecting with every team member regularly, in meaningful ways, and as often as possible.

In other words, communicating openly and authentically has been crucial to their success.

It seems the Tigers have been living the lesson Ken Blanchard taught us in his classic fable The One Minute Manager: The Tigers have been committed to catching people doing something right and celebrating it, as opposed to only hearing from leaders when something goes wrong.

Like other stories of success, key learnings of the Tigers’ transformation is super-inspiring for those of us interested in created high-performing teams.  But how do we recreate this culture in our teams?  The short answer is a repeatable system that captures these ideas and sets them in your DNA.

The 19-step Culture Is Everything Checklist that is the foundation of the Culture Is Everything system behind how The Physio Co has been ranked as one of ‘Australia’s 50 Best Places to Work’ for 9 years is one way your team can systemize a winning culture.

In my experience, building a strong culture takes the commitment to discover and communicate a strong core, document a crystal clear vision, execute the plan relentlessly and while doing all that, show more love to each and every team member.  It seems Hardwick and his team have been able to do just that on their way to achieving the holy grail of AFL football – the premiership cup.

To understand how our team at The Physio Co has embraced the challenge to build a strong and ever-developing team culture, check out the Culture Is Everything Checklist here.

And if, like me, you’re still smiling and celebrating Richmond’s 2017 grand final victory - don’t stop!

Go Tiges!

🐯 *Disclaimer: I’m a lifelong, and up until now, long suffering tigers supporter :)