Category Archives: Human Performance

Trust the Process – Winning is the Result

98G State Champs 2014

Over the last 8 months I have had the unbelievable privilege of working with the Loudoun 98 Girls (U16) Youth Soccer Team in Northern Virginia as an assistant coach and goalkeeper trainer.  During this time, this group has been able to rise above the plateau that they had found themselves on to become Regional Finalists and National Tournament Participants. Finally, this past weekend win the elusive State Championship that they have been working toward over the last several years.

This remarkable group of young ladies has been nurtured over time (nearly 7 years) by two unbelievably talented and dedicated coaches.  The first, Rae Ann Taylor who built a foundation of technical excellence and tactical awareness that provided the girls with the fundamental skills which have allowed them to succeed in soccer and in life.  The second, Randy May who is now the Head Coach of the team, has continued to build on their foundation and has added additional tools in terms of technical and tactical capabilities while helping fine tune the emotional aspects of the game that often come with being 16 years old.

One of the key aspects to this development has been the consistency and willingness of the coaches to stick to a plan.  Over time, there have been numerous instances where players have grown and developed at different rates, players and parents have focused on winning over development, and some players have moved on to chase immediate gratification rather than focusing on becoming a complete player.  To the credit of the coaching staff and a core group of parents and players, this group has stayed the course and seen the results of sticking to the process, winning the Virginia State Championship.

As many of us understand, nothing that is worth dreaming about comes easy.  It is the hard work and dedication that goes into achieving greatness that makes it all that more wonderful when we achieve it.  Additionally, it is only through a series of failures, corrections, and breakthroughs that true continuous improvement occurs.  Like any other endeavor, sport is full of variables and processes that, when understood and properly accounted for, can be approached in a way that makes success inevitable.

During my 8 months with the team, I have been introducing Lean and Six Sigma concepts (without identifying them as such) to help the team to find ways to reduce the variation in their training, game day preparation, and performances to achieve more repeatable and reproducible results. We are just now beginning to see the benefits of this as most of the players are starting to grow in their roles and understand the concepts of team dynamics.  You can find more information about using Lean Six Sigma for Human Performance in my previous post Human Performance Lean Six Sigma: A Process Based Approach:

Now that we have reached our initial goal, we must refocus and look for new ways to step up our game because sport, like life, is about continuous improvement. Trust the process.

Until Next Time,

Happy LEANing,

David Allway

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Filed under Coaching, Human Performance, Lean, Lean Six Sigma, Soccer

Your next goal: becoming a Social Business


As I continue to improve myself and my service to clients, I have become involved with Social and Connected Business as the next wave of transformation. Below is an article from my good friend Dioni Nespral from everis Spain.  It was originally posted on our Social and Connected Blog at

Becoming a Social Business means growing into a social and connected entity, centered in the digital field and that has socialized its internal and external processes, achieving, this way, great flexibility and a dynamic in line with its sector that allow it to innovate and lead the business models of the XXI century.

Past status: lost.

Maybe you can identify with this: sitting with the executive committee of your business area or even with the company’s management team. Presentations are traditional, the message repeated: “we want to be leaders in…”, “our strategy for the next 3 years will be…”, “the increase in the sales shall be of…”, and you think to yourself how little things have changed in the last few years and in the difficulty when obtaining those leading positions when 5 years ago they were feasible thanks to a witty advertising campaign, a good budget and a thorough market analysis. Nowadays, little of this has its effect; only the current share is maintained.

You wonder where the magic wand is and don’t find an answer. Like it or not, the current situation is way beyond us. Not even the lessons learnt in our highly specialized courses or having attended conferences of the biggest gurus of the moment help. This is changing by leaps and bounds. The future is Social, and probably your area, company or organization isn’t and doesn’t have a strategy to get there. It can be the beginning of the end. Perhaps it’s time to take relevant decisions.

Current status: off/online.

History has always meant permanent change. But now even more, due the speed of the change. We are caught between a growing wave of connectivity that seems to have no end. A wave that will continue to change and modify itself, but that cannot be reversed. The world is connected. The Social world has gotten into the lives of the people and in our “natural habitat”: Leisure, work or school and family. Television programs include a social parallel “reality”, sometimes much more interesting than traditional broadcasts. Conversation occurs before, during and after the event and the connotations are different from usual. Conversations between families, schools and parents, are held quickly thanks to the simple sharing tools that can literally accelerate change and strengthen relationships. And all this has an influence in our professional environment.

Our working environment is where we spend more than a third of our day and it is in deep crisis (not economic crisis, but identity crisis). The restructuring of the organization to adapt it to a dynamic and changing environment takes place by increasing the connection between its members, accelerating the exchange of experience and natural knowledge of the company and by reviewing the working model. Nothing will remain untouched, and it is a priority to involve various actors in the business conglomerate. Nobody said being a Social Business would be easy.

Organizations have ambitious programs of motivation, dynamism and integration of talent running in order to change, grow and build new institutions to lead the post-crisis change. And they focus on collaboration, innovation and horizontal communication. All based on the most important values ​​of the network. However, the vast majority of executives surveyed confirmed that they are concerned about the little or non-existing ability of their organization to cope with this new environment. It is not the technological part that worries them, but the required organizational and cultural change. The barriers to overcome when wanting to become a Social Business grow noticeably as we get closer to the heart of the organization. The lack of interest of the management team and the fear towards the lack of management control are two other things that need correcting asides from the obvious absence of a robust strategy and the need to implement a new company culture.

Future status: Social Business.

We enter a new phase regarding strategy. Organizations need be visible for their clients, suppliers and other external agents in. It is clear that social tools are increasing and that the proximity to the clients, suppliers etc.  is no longer limited “from 9 am to 5 pm “. The client, the citizen, requires extreme attention subject to their own experiences, so the organization has to know how to integrate these experiences in the value chain of its service or product, controlling, this way, its Social Customer Journey.

But nothing will work if no movements in the companies and institutions’ internal processes are made too. The real differential value appears here: 80% of the success of an initiative to become a Social Business begins with the socialization of internal processes. Creating networked environments , fostering collaboration among members of the organization, facilitating the horizontality of the processes against the current hierarchy , investing in sociodigital training and the necessary cultural change, launching the transition to socialized customer care channels and establishing innovation models based on collaboration and collective creation , are, among other actions,  necessary to approach the most important challenge that organizations will face in the coming years : becoming a Social Business .

The match has begun. Social&Connected Business? Let’s begin.

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Filed under Business, connected, consulting, government consulting, Human Performance, Management, Marketing, Social