It was very salient to see the need for ‘communication’ skills in the Ethics Centre’s review of Australian cricket.
It is a well-known statement by former US Presidential writer and author James Humes that ‘communication is the art of leadership’.
If communication is the vehicle for delivering directions and thoughts, then leadership is the action for delivering them.
The two are inextricably linked. Failure to understand this is where Cricket Australia (CA) is at today.
The Australian team previously delivered its reputation on a culture of ‘win at all cost’. Now it has to come to grips with a new culture according to the report; one of ‘high ethical standards’.
Unfortunately, the report did not specify an implementation plan for this culture or its recommendations.
Had it done so, the Board would not have been able to get away with statements about ‘getting on with change’, ‘have already implemented some of the recommendations’ etc. when no one knows what they have done.
Once again, there is no transparency with the change by CA and how the public is to perceive it, or seek to build trust in the brand again.
If 90 days is a benchmark for a stakeholder implementation plan, the Summer of Cricket will be almost over by the time the public – the stakeholders – will have had an opportunity to form a perception of what CA is doing and what cultural change has taken place.
The Board cannot wait this long.
It has to opportunity now to be transparent with its plans for the players, the administration and public awareness. There are 41 recommendations to consider, including a look at CA’s Values – ‘how we play (especially the one ‘be relentless’), spirit of cricket and integrity’.
Cricket fans are entitled to see what measures the Board is putting into place if it wants to rebuild CA’s trust and reputation.
To use a cricket cliché, the Board is now just short of the crease. Their plan will be the basis for the ‘how’s that?’ call. The public will then raise its finger or not.