NFL Network (NFLN) is an American television sports channel dedicated to American football, owned and operated by the National Football League (NFL). NFL Films produces commercials, television programs, and feature films for the NFL. It is a key supplier of NFL Network’s programming, with more than 4,000 hours of footage available in their library. Thus, much of the network’s highlights and recaps feature NFL Films’ trademark style of slow motion game action, sounds of the game, and the talk on the sidelines. As of August 2013, NFL Network is received by approximately 70,910,000 American households that subscribe to a pay television service (62.09% of U.S. households with television).
Since its inception in 2003, the NFL Media Group— which includes network programming and digital media— has experienced rapid growth in the number of employees and the amount of content produced in order to continue delivering exciting sports news and entertainment to demanding fans. Because the work teams within the Media Group spanned so many competencies— ranging from content production to software coding— they literally spoke different languages and had drastically different communication styles.
Within a fast- paced production environment with intense pressure to perform, the organization needed to find a strategy to help managers collaborate and communicate more productively with each other. The NFL Media Group hired XBInsight to assist them in creating their strategy to improve the working relationship amongst individual work groups.
To maximize the potential of each team, XBInsight deployed a three-part methodology that included assessing each manager to identify their strengths and weaknesses; an analysis of the leadership team’s competencies, critical thinking and core values; and development of a consistent communication and coaching/feedback process to enhance communication and collaboration. To kick-off the program, all leaders including Executive Producers, Technical Directors, Production Managers and Programming Directors completed the XBInsight assessment to learn more about their own strengths, communication approach and development opportunities. XB’s executive coaching team worked with each leader to create his/her individualized development plan. Next, the leadership team analysis was created that provided insight into skill gaps amongst all leaders. XBInsight used this information to customize a training program that all leaders participated in to close the gaps.
As a result, today the NFL’s Media Group leaders share a common communication language and consistently use the tools and approach they learned through the XB program. Leaders communicate and collaborate far more effectively with each other and their staffs, which has enabled them to improve the overall quality of the NFL television and online programming they provide. The training is used to onboard new leaders into the NFL Media Group.