Manufacturing, Transport & Retail

Organisational Development for Growth,
Gray-Nicolls Sports (AUS)

SG - Case Study - Gray-Nicolls (logo2)


From W.G. Grace to Matthew Hayden, the origins of hockey, to the Rugby World Cup – the powerful position in the market place of Gray-Nicolls Sports remains undimmed. The company was established in the UK in 1876 – opening in Melbourne, Australia to run a portfolio of market-leading brands for the Asia Pacific Region over 30 years ago. Still under the control of the Gray family, the company has been involved in diverse areas of sporting life for over 150 years. Their well-known brands include Gray-Nicolls, County, Gilbert, Steeden, Grays in hockey & racquet sports, Yonex & Puma Darts.


Under the leadership of the Directors Nick & Jason Gray, Grays-Nicolls Sports Pty Ltd has grown exponentially & in 2007 they embarked on an organisational development program to support their growing team.


As part of this program, Synergy Global was asked to advise on the design & implementation of a process which would contribute to the effective management of individuals & teams in order to achieve even higher levels of organisational performance. The company wanted to ensure a shared understanding about what was to be achieved & an approach to leading & developing people which ensured that achievement. They also wanted a strategy which relates to every activity in the organisation, set in the context of its existing HR policies, culture & communication system.


The performance management system introduced has had positive feedback from both staff & managers. It is easy to use & staff are now fully engaged in self-directed reflection & development plans. The system is strategic & about broader issues/longer-term goals; integrated (linking with established HR initiatives & aspects of the business); & addresses not only continuous individual development, but also team & whole organisational effectiveness. Its emphasis is on behavioural change – ensuring that individuals are encouraged to behave in a way that improves customer care & fosters excellent working relationships. People are now clearer about their understanding of what is expected of them; have the skills & ability to deliver on these expectations; are supported by the organisation to develop the capacity to meet these expectations; are given regular feedback on their performance; & have a greater opportunity to contribute to team objectives. Managers are also more aware of the impact of their own behaviour on staff & are encouraged to become positive role-models. Performance reviews are now viewed as learning events, in which individuals are encouraged to think about how & in which ways they want to develop.

As Gray-Nicolls continues to grow, there will be increasing emphasis on talent management, with the performance management system helping to identify, nurture & retain especially talented members of staff. Development programs will focus more on leadership skills & reflect the needs of inclusive succession plans to deliver organisational capability into the future.

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