Michigan Ross Announces First-Ever Sports and Organizational Dynamics Conference

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Experts from top business schools and sports leaders will discuss how to build a winning team

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan will host its inaugural Sports and Organizational Dynamics Conference (SODC), Feb. 22-23 at Michigan Ross. Hundreds of senior sports leaders are expected to attend. The two-day event will feature thought leaders from some of the country’s top business schools, who will facilitate workshops highlighting how best practices in organizational dynamics can be applied to sport team performance.

Analytics and sports science, on their own, no longer provide the competitive edge necessary to build winning teams.  Organization dynamics have become of paramount importance, as more sports teams feature players from different countries, different backgrounds in the same countries and of a different generation than coaches.  Such matters as team culture, diversity, achieving change and team leadership, along with analytics and sports science, are the new determinants of winning in sports.

“We know that any successful organization is the result, in large part, of having a great team culture. We saw that last year with the Houston Astros, and most recently with the Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl—having the right chemistry improves team performance,” said Kevin Pitts, managing director of Michigan Ross Executive Education and coordinator of the SODC. “This conference is designed to equip sports team leaders with the best practices and guidelines to develop the highest level of team performance.”

Some of the key sessions during the conference include:

  • Team Culture (Kim Cameron, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan): Using his extensive research on NFL locker room culture and its correlation to team performance, Cameron will lead a panel discussion, featuring the SODC Board of Advisors, discussing how corporate culture and positive organizational scholarship can help build performance in sport.

  • The Emergence of Excellence: Leadership in Times of Dramatic Complexity and Change (Bob Quinn, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan): Quinn will moderate a panel discussion exploring how to lead in times of disruptive change and how that ties into sport team performance.

  • Creating “One Team” From Diverse Individuals (Lynn Wooten, Dyson School of Management, Cornell University): Wooten’s research explores workforce diversity and how that can be leveraged to an organization’s competitive advantage. She will lead a panel discussion about the effects of and approaches to diversity in sports and maximizing its positive impact.

  • Leading Change: From Resistance to Cooperation (Joel Brockner, Columbia Business School, Columbia University): This panel discussion will be moderated by Brockner, who has done extensive research on leading organizational change. They will discuss how to overcome resistance to achieve change in sports organizations.

The conference is highly geared toward senior leaders responsible for sport team performance, including general managers, head coaches, assistant general managers, and assistant coaches. For more information about the conference, visit michiganross.umich.edu/sportsdynamics.

 

About Michigan Ross

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is a vibrant and distinctive learning community grounded in the principle that business can be an extraordinary vehicle for change in today's society. Michigan Ross is a leading business school, dedicated to building a better world through business. The Ross School of Business’ mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world.

Ross is consistently ranked among the world's leading business schools. Academic degree programs include the BBA, MBA, Part-time MBA (Evening and Weekend formats), Executive MBA, Global MBA, Master of Accounting, Master of Supply Chain Management, Master of Management, and PhD. In addition, the school delivers open-enrollment and custom executive education programs targeting general management, leadership development, and strategic human resource management.

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