Winning Insights: What can business and sport leaders in Wales learn from each other? 

Mae’r dudalen hon ar gael yn y Gymraeg / This page is also available in Welsh

I first became aware of Engage for Success (EFS) in October 2016 while I was planning a cross-government event hosted and led by the DVLA – where I’ve worked for the past 16 years.

During conversations with the EFS team, I saw a real opportunity to become more involved with the movement and to establish a group of like-minded individuals and business to learn, share and work together. Jump forward five months and a new EFS in Wales group has been created and momentum its being built to our first event scheduled for October 2017!

Living in Wales and being a massive sports fanatic, I have always been intrigued by leadership in sport and its influence on peak performance, engagement and well-being.

Whether it’s the cycling, F1, British and Irish Lions or in the world of football, the ability to create a high-performance environment is unrivalled and the similarities between successful leaders in sport and business are often quoted. However, until now these links have only been in one direction (sport to business) and usually anecdotal.

Following the cross-government event last year, I started thinking that it would be great to lift the lid on business and sport. I wanted to see whether it would be possible to start a research programme using existing, well-established relationships with regional and national sporting teams, as well as a number of businesses across Wales.

Through the commitment of EFS alongside co-sponsors the Cardiff Metropolitan University, and with endorsement from the National Assembly for Wales, we have launched a landmark three year project that seeks to address the question:

‘What can business leaders and sport leaders in Wales learn from each other to create and sustain performance, wellbeing, and engagement?’

The ‘Winning Insights’ research study will see a full-time research officer from the University bring the worlds of Welsh sport and business closer together. The research will provide insight into high performing teams in each, creating an unique opportunity to learn from each other in a ground-breaking piece of research. The findings will have implications for the Welsh economy and beyond.

Through the help of EFS and the university we are attracting a number of high performing organisations from the worlds of sport and business in Wales to take an active part in the research. The approach will see a number of interviews and targeted analysis to gather findings from an exclusive group of businesses and sporting organisations. As part of the research, organisations will benefit greatly from a variety of opportunities in which they can learn, develop, and promote, all of which will come with no charge, with an individualised report, including overall and specific recommendations for existing work and future enhancements.

The overall findings will be help inform future learning within EFS, the Cardiff Metropolitan University and across many business/sporting organisations across our nation and wider.

Diolch i chi am ddarllen (thank you for reading),

Jonathan Matthews, Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)

If you’d like to find out more about employee engagement in Wales, please visit the Wales Thought and Action Group web page.

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