Thursday, December 25, 2008

Establishing a culture of work

Saw the Spurs beat PHX just now, despite being down by five heading into the fourth quarter. Roger Mason hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to win it. [Here's a recap of what was a great game.]

According to GMs from around the league, the Spurs' ability to find ways to win is a credit to the team's culture, which is driven is large part by head coach Gregg Popovich:

"Their system has proven to be the best in the business," Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard said. "They have such a strong culture and belief system. That means everything. They do a great job of communicating, from staff to Pop to (GM) R.C. (Buford), what they are about. There are processes in place. They make sure they are very thorough with everything."

Says Suns GM Steve Kerr:

"There is a culture of work, like, 'Nobody owes us anything.' Pop sustains it because he demands it, but also because he's such a great guy. The familiarity over the years is really important. Pop has done a great job of creating the culture. He did that in the first year, and it almost runs itself."

As this article puts it: "Popovich plugs well-identified parts into a precise system and imparts his pound-the-rock motto."

These Jacob Riis words are posted by a locker room door: "When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at this rock perhaps 100 times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the 101st blow, it will split in two and I know it was not that blow that did it. But all that had gone before."