PART II – Filtering: A Blueprint for Focused Development of Championship Level Culture

Filtering: A Blueprint for Focused Development of Championship Level Culture

By: guest contributor Patrick Henry


Part II: Objectives and Procedures

The previous part of this series, focused on the idea of utilizing a Filtered-Approach in developing a program’s culture, specifically the foundational building blocks of Values and Standards. In the second effort in the three part series, lays out two other foundational building blocks how they are similar in how they complement each other but different from Values and Standards in function.Culture Filter-Approach Block Three: Determine Objectives

The third of the foundational Building Blocks in a Filtered-Approach to developing a program’s culture that is sustainable is Objectives. Unlike Values and Standards, which focus on the “who we are aspect” of program culture, Objectives focus more on “what we do aspect” the program. Objectives are process-oriented accomplishments that the program wants to execute. When organized properly, well thought-out and realistic objectives are what give a program its purpose.

Like Standards, a program should have two types of Objectives. The first, Overall Program Objectives determine what a program wants to accomplish as and to give it an overarching sense of purpose and identity. Objectives should have so much clarity, that an outside person evaluating your program could understand that principally this is the main function of your program. Essentially, this program at this institution does, “A, B, C & D.”

The second type of objectives, Sub-Team Objectives are ones in which each sub-team needs to create separate from the Overall Program Objectives but still aligned. Sub-Team Objectives will change from year to year depending on resources available. Each of the Sub-Team Objectives should be stated the affirmative and process-oriented not focuses on a specific team record, with the idea in mind that pursuit of the objectives lead to desire results athletically and off court.

Determine Objectives – Bullet Points & Assessment Questions

Determine and implement Overall Program Objectives — What are the things that are process-oriented the program wants to accomplish?

Articulate the Overall Program Objectives to all throughout the organization — Does each member of the program must know and understand what the purpose of the program and what it is trying to accomplish overall on a daily basis?

Create individual ownership and purpose by having various interdependent departments and work teams establish Sub-Team Objectives annually — Does each department and work teams have yearly controllable process-oriented objectives that are aligned with the program’s overall organizational core values and behavioral standards of performance?

Culture Filter-Approach Block Four: Create Procedures

The fourth Filter-Approach Building Block to develop a program culture is Procedures. The Procedure block is the established plans used to do what the program wants to get accomplished. Procedures, like Objectives fall in the “what we do” aspect of a program’s cultural framework. Success in achieving the two types of Objectives (Overall Program and Sub-Team) is dependent on plans of Procedures working together in an organized efficient fashion. What separates successful programs from those that aren’t long term is that they have operational planning and understanding of how they wish to deal with every aspect of the program. Operational plans within procedures are also evaluated and refined after they are executed to look for areas of improvement.

Take acquiring talented people for example. It’s not just enough to say, “we want to recruit good kids and hire good coaches” when dealing with retaining and attracting talent. A head coach must know ‘the how’ of what that looks like operationally and be able to articulate it concisely. Most successful elite programs have a twelve-month plan to approach recruiting and most successful head coaches, if not having a short list names, have a short list of requirements for hires for their coaching staff. Going further, as members of the program join and leave having clear procedures of the program’s way of approaching tasks relative to the program’s objectives eases the transition period for a new student-athlete or staff member joining the program. And after a recruiting cycle concludes or a staff hiring is made the acquisition process of each is evaluated with the thought, “ What could we have done better?”

Create Procedures – Bullet Points & Assessment Questions

Create process-oriented procedures for members of work teams to accomplish objectives — Does each function within the program have a plan to ensure that the function is efficiently and effectively execute?

Create specific and defined responsibilities — Does everyone know the actual job they are supposed to do?

Ensure member of the program know generally what others responsibilities are — Does everyone know the actual job each of the member is responsible?

Create within each procedure concrete short and long-term goals with definitive timetables for accomplishment, can be measured, and can be evaluated for progress — How do we know if were doing the job were supposed to be doing at the level it’s supposed to be done?

Next in the series, “A Blueprint for Focused Development of Championship Level Culture,” the two critical Focal Points that drive a program’s culture and how your program’s culture is evaluated and viewed by decision-makers.

Part I of the series can be found here.


Nationally recognized as one of the top assistant coaches and recruiters in women’s basketball, Patrick Henry is a twenty plus year coaching veteran. Henry has worked at the High School, Junior College, Division III, Division II and Division I levels as an assistant coach.

Henry most recently completed a two-year run at Miami (Ohio), where he specialized in the development of the RedHawk perimeter players, in addition to duties in practice and in game strategy.