The mundanity of excellence : A case study of performance development in a Norwegian top level football club
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- Master of Science 
This case study constitutes a comprehensive and profound documentation of performance development in Odds Ballklubb’s sporting unit (Odd). The members are focusing on improving the nature and quality of the processes that influence results. Minor and mundane initiatives are fitted together in a synthesized whole. This practice is promoted by an evident and pervaded performance culture. Noteworthy, their working methods have changed both in response to experiences with trial-and-error experimentation, and as a result of searching alternative routines. They have utilized intelligent failures, in particular through process focus, and failure legitimation. Furthermore, the team of coaches has displayed critical reflection and situational awareness by seeking to stay ahead of the development, utilizing technology and knowledge in everyday practice, as well as demonstrating flexibility and sensitivity to current operations. Accordingly, Odd is also demonstrating several manifest signs on organizational learning. Apparently, these arrangements have promoted methodical performance development making the club competitive in a dynamic and highly competitive elite sports environment. Odd is not much different from the teams they outperform. The individuals do not trigger overwhelming excitement. They are only ’’ordinary’’ people that do particular plain things to perform great in top-level football. They do not simply do more of the same exercises, preparations, and evaluations. They do them better. The difference lies mainly in their approach and consistency to care greatly about the minor and mundane details. Quality in every details inevitable add up. How the team of coaches and players are practicing is rather interesting: It is very mundane. And although skeptics and malicious tongues initially would state that this finding does not induce particular excitement in itself, that is actually the point. Apparently, the simple doing of certain small tasks generates huge results (Chambliss, 1989). Mindfulness and obsessive perfection throughout the underlying processes result in truly extraordinary success. This is ’’the mundanity of excellence’’.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Leadership and Organizational Psychology - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2016