Contrast the last 5 minutes of Ireland’s RWC match against Japan on Saturday, with this years first match between Dublin and Kerry in the All Ireland Final. A point and a man down, and playing badly, the Dubs found a way to get a replay.

On Saturday Ireland finished the match in their own goal-line, scrambling for a losing bonus point. They looked bereft of belief or a winning culture.

The Blue Wave – what is it ?

On 18 September 2011, Dublin lifted the Sam Maguire for the first time in 16 years.

That same Autumn they unveiled a 6-year strategic plan called the “Blue Wave”.

It covered all aspects of Dublin GAA, men and women.

It promoted the ‘one family, one culture, one community’ ethos.

  1. An 86-page strategy document that followed a period of extensive research, analysis and stakeholder consultation
  2. Extensive research included an Online Survey on in six different languages, including Gaeilge, Polish, Nigerian and French, that was also emailed to all mailing lists, including club chairmen, secretaries, Local Authority contacts & steering committees etc…
  3. Nine strategic goals were identified that cover all aspects of the Dublin GAA’s activities.
  4. One of the targets included winning Sam Maguire one in every three years.

Instead of celebrating their first all-Ireland success in 16 years, Dublin were building an ambitious future.

A winning culture, and a winning brand.

Against a dire economic background (in 2011), the Blue Wave was heavily criticised as evidence of a sense of entitlement. But the Dubs stuck to their guns. The results both on and off the pitch speak for themselves.

The Dublin teams (both men and ladies) have now created a winning culture, that all started with careful strategizing, ambitious investment and a recognition of the importance of evolving.

We can all learn something from it.