“Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.” – Proverbs 29:17

Last week, the leader of a group asked each member to define the noun ‘discipline’ in the business context.

My synthesis from the responses was that discipline is the nexus between setting targets and achieving success. Its practices may be disaggregated as follows: (1) respect targets – under promise and over deliver; (2) aim for excellence – zero defects; (3) stay on budget – cost containment; (4) ensure continuity of supply – back up systems, over communication and disaster recovery; and (5) practise timeliness of delivery – newsroom culture.

There has been no shortage of advice available to the new leadership of Cricket West Indies (CWI) from cricket savvy persons, including the likes of Professor Sir Hillary Beckles, Clive Lloyd, Michael Holding, Deryck Murray and Dr. Rudi Webster. All have contributed significantly to the development of West Indies cricket over the years and, along with many others in society, have its sustainable success at heart.

CWI held its first press conference last Thursday which spoke of precipitous changes presumably to have an impressive early impact of their intentions. This has already begun to create negative social media buzz.

The CWI board should be wary that a stellar assessment of their stewardship over the next two years will be manifested by stakeholders’ dashboards that are continuously flashing green. In my opinion, the way to achieve this is to embrace discipline as the nexus between setting targets and achieving success. This must be introduced meticulously and in an agreeable manner.

Realistic, measurable and time-specific targets must be set for each of the following: the governance of West Indies cricket, investment funding, marketing, performance (on/off field), and training and motivation of our human resources. In each of these areas, we must under promise and over deliver.

In our service delivery, we must aim for excellence. In the Japanese culture, the concept of ‘zero defects’ in industry was introduced which spawned a quality revolution. An adaptation of this concept is appropriate for CWI.

There is sometimes the tendency to splurge in new administrations in the quest to be visible. However, the best advice is to develop tight budgets and practice cost containment until a feeling for the elasticity of the financial space is discerned.

One of the most important factors is to ensure the continuity of supply of services which means carefully planned back-up systems, erring on the side of over communication and to establish disaster recovery plans, in the event of an emergency.

In the business of journalism, the practice of a deadline-driven newsroom culture is paramount in order to meet publication times. Much can be learned from the discipline of this culture, particularly in the business of West Indies cricket, when it comes to the timeliness of delivery of services.

We promote that discipline, in all forms of business, is the nexus between setting targets and achieving success. In the context of sustainability of success in WINDIES cricket (men and women) in all forms of the game, may we caution the new CWI leadership to create an enabling environment where stakeholder discipline thrives.

Only then, will they bring the delights we desire.