Last night I was tempted away from the Block, the Bachelor and some other cooking show to find myself tuning into the 7.30 report and was captured by a story around Australian cricket.

Of particular interest, was the current culture and what lead the players to tamper with the ball in Cape Town at the start of the year.

Team Rewards

One of the key moments identified was the loss of the Ashes to the English on home soil back in 2011. Australian Captain at the time Michael Clarke described this loss as, “as close to rock bottom as it gets”. Cricket Australia’s response to the loss was to commission the Argus Review, which looked into the teams drop in performance.

One of the key recommendations was to introduce ‘win bonuses’ for players. The comment from Greg Dyer, Australian Cricketers Association President, was that the message sent by the Executives of Cricket Australia to the players was; “you’re not here to play cricket, you’re here to win”.

This immediately reminded me of a quote by Stephen Covey in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, who states that “the flowers you water are the ones that will grow”. Meaning, the behaviours you reward and incentivise, will be the ones that are pursued and repeated.

Therefore, can we, the cricketing public, be that surprised that our players resorted to win an at all costs mentality when under extreme pressure?

Cricket Australia currently have another two reviews underway investigating the culture of Australian Cricket. It will be fascinating to see what information is released from these findings, and I wonder what they will choose to incentivise in the future.

While it’s easy to sit back and comment on the Australian Cricket Team, for me this is a great time for self-reflection around my own team.

What do we value, reward and recognise at Leading Teams? And what impact is that having on our own culture? I’m proud to say that I think we have the balance right, my hope is that you can too.


Gavin Mahony

Gavin Mahony

Gavin joined Leading Teams in November 2017, coming from an international career in the sport and corporate worlds. He is a Facilitator based in Melbourne.
Learn more about Gavin.