The Parable Of The Poor Director

Some years ago an organisation made a director level appointment.  There was the usual top brass bullshit and business buzzword bingo as part of the introductory PR spin.  Big things were clearly expected from this new director.

It wasn’t long before this director’s significant flaws came to the fore.  The first major decision made by this new director was based entirely on his own prejudices, refusing to present an honest justification and completely ignoring the existing excellent and continuing performance of the organisation.

Other decisions were also flawed, appointments made crucially so.  The organisation’s performance, brand and reputation were being damaged by a supposedly safe pair of hands.

It was barely a year before this director left. The PR spin used phrases like “dynamic contribution to the business” to announce his departure but the truth was different.  The changes made by this director had and would continue to hurt the organisation for some years after.

The role was disestablished after his departure and the now ex director got a nice payoff and sailed into another job thanks to his friends rather than any of his actual achievements.   The organisation was well rid of him. The staff cleared up the mess he had left.

The above happened some years ago at an organisation Yates was associated with.  Much of this can be said to apply to Paul Downton.  When Tom Harrison sacks him or when Downton himself resigns then England cricket will have taken the first step towards creating an environment of excellence.

Top level sportsmen and women deserve top level management.  The national summer sport needs top level leadership.  After the last 12 months and following England’s humiliation at the cricket World Cup it is clear that these will not come from Paul Downton, Peter Moores or David Saker.  Channeling mediocrity, obsessing with data and enforcing a single approach is not the way to achieve continued excellence.

The news that David Saker is to take up a post at BBL team Melbourne Renegades is welcome news for England fans; how he had remained in his post after the Ashes hammering and continued poor bowling performances will remain the subject for discussion and teaching by sages in a thousand years’ time.  Clearly he is leaving on his own terms before being pushed.