By definition, organisational culture is the underlying shared beliefs, assumptions, values, symbols, rituals, myths, practices, and mutual interaction that contribute to an organisation’s unique social and psychological environment.
A strong culture fosters a collaborative, family-like environment by valuing commitment, participation, and allegiance.
Within and beyond sport, culture helps to determine a nation’s focus, establishes norms of acceptable behaviour, and directly influences social acceptance by unity.
It is important to understand and define our current sporting culture, and one would like to believe we must first identify who we are.
Are we a footballing nation? Perhaps a netball nation? Maybe we are indeed a rugby and boxing nation.
Whatever the case may be, it is important that we start building our sporting culture from a solid base (code), which will foster unity, cohesion, and stimulate enthusiasm among athletes, the government and the private sector.
WHERE DO WE START?
We must start by looking at the reality of who we are as a nation in the sporting context, which will create the departure point.
One cannot start building our culture on more than two sporting codes as this creates an identity crisis.
The second thing we must do is define our values and goals.
Our values should focus on how organisations, leaders and other key stakeholders interact with one another by creating a clear-cut blueprint on how we develop our industry through shared common goals.
Thirdly we must invest in diversity, inclusion and belonging programmes.
Another important factor is investing in human resources, and ensuring that our current leadership understand the importance of a well-defined sport culture.
It is almost impossible to build any industry without a skilled workforce which can formulate and execute strategic plans.
Skilled leaders ensure that resources are distributed according to pre-defined needs and plans.
At the moment we face scenarios in which resources are distributed on ad-hoc bases.
This erodes key development efforts.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks of our sport industry is its policies.
We must create policies that speak to our sport culture to ensure we take full advantage of this multibillion-dollar industry.
Lastly, one could conclude by saying that a well-defined sport culture would equip all stakeholders with the tools they need to succeed, and with a platform that unites and rewards excellency.
Sport is the only entity that provides benefits in equilibrium when it comes to the economic emancipation and social cohesion of a country.
It is my conviction that if we define our values and goals in the sporting context, we would win half the battle in sport development.
*Allan Kake is a sport management graduate from the Namibia University of Science and Technology.