Dr Pippa Grange answers some of our questions before her keynote at The Good Day at Work Conversation 2019

We’re lucky enough to have Pippa Grange appearing as a keynote at this year’s Good Day at Work Conversation in Manchester on September 17th. 

She’s the FA’s Head of People and Team Development and the person widely credited with playing a key role in the England football team’s cultural and performance turnaround at the Russia 2018 World Cup. As a taster ahead of next week’s event we caught up with Pippa and asked her a few questions about what she’s learnt so far during her notable career:

You’ve worked with some of the world’s top sports coaches, what can you tell us about how they go about creating a winning culture for their team?

The coach is ultimately the cultural leader. Their personal mentality and behaviour set a tone but so does the narrative and stories they tell about the history, identity, ethos and ambition of the team. The coach sets boundaries – and decides what to resist and what to reward. Really, the coach is the central playmaker when it comes to culture.

What role does resilience play in helping the teams you work with reach and sustain peak performance?

Resilience is probably the single most important factor to both understand and develop in team sport. Resilience is more than getting back up after a knock or a failure or toughing it out. It also involves watching your energy, inviting joy and humour in and setting a longer term vision beyond the scoreboard.

What can we learn from the sporting world about the ups and downs of aiming high and trying to achieve perfection?

I’m not a believer in chasing perfection. Actually I think perfectionism is a myth that steals our ambitions and creates unhelpful fear. Sport, like life, if full of ups and downs – the trick is to know how to ‘surf’!

More broadly, you’ve spent your life working with elite sportspeople – what’s the most important thing that those who are responsible for health and wellbeing in organisations can learn from that world?

I would say two things: first is to leave some ‘psychological space’ – some time where you don’t need to perform at something. Second, is to understand (or remember) the huge amount of protection that high quality, real, human relationships offer in terms of health and wellbeing.

See Pippa in conversation with Bruce Daisley live at the Good Day at Work Conversation 2019

Buy tickets here