The Importance of Organisational Development On and Off the Playing Field

Under Vision 2030, sport is identified as an important national strategy in developing attributes and stimulating positive values for Singaporeans and the nation. 

As we build on the partnership between Sport Singapore (SportSG) and the NSAs to enable organisational development, there are three key areas for which every NSA is responsible - sustainable elite-level performance, grassroots development or mass participation and overall management of the sport.

SportSG will work with NSAs towards the understanding of best practices and to develop customised programmes in the areas of organisational development and sport development.

Why do NSAs need to evolve?

While recognising the importance of NSAs in sport, there is an urgent need for NSAs to develop, adapt and evolve in a rapidly changing environment. In creating a framework for the professional management and governance of NSAs, it is important to seek a common basis for SportSG to jointly work with NSAs to:

  1. Identify strengths and weaknesses;
  2. Build on the strengths and address the areas for improvement;
  3. Develop capabilities.

With this in mind, SportSG launched the NSA Organisation Development (OD) exercise last September 2013 with TSE Consulting imparting the process and assessment tool, with the key objectives as follows:

  1. Facilitating the development of NSAs; and
  2. Ensuring establishment of sustainable systems and processes within NSAs.

The NSA OD highlighted 8 key areas that all NSAs will need to focus on for successful OD implementation and are key to shaping tomorrow’s successful sports organisations. The 8 areas are listed and described below:

  • FOCUS - Identifying the purpose of NSA operations and clearly understanding what constitutes successful achievement of that purpose
  • VALUES - establishing meaningful and powerful reasons that inspire and inform NSA leadership to ensure the structure and operations remain consistent and purposeful
  • STRATEGY – developing a plan based on NSA values that moves the organisation forward and permits change in structures when needed
  • SERVICES – providing advice, guidance and leadership to members, partners, and other constituent audiences instead of being just an administrative/governing body
  • BRAND – combining the organisation, the sport and NSA products to transition the NSA from just an administrative body to an actual brand that is nurtured over time
  • PARTNERS – integrating external partners into NSA activities to open new opportunities for the sport, including reaching new audiences and generating new revenue
  • MEASUREMENT – creating and refining tools to evaluate the organisations effectiveness in managing and developing the sport at all levels
  • CHANGE – implementing changes and adopting systems to ensure that organisational stability and improvements can be achieved at the same time.

What is interesting is that the first 3 areas of Focus, Values & Strategy anchor in on the ‘Why we do what we do?’ question whilst the other 5 areas zoom in on the ‘How we do what we do?’ question.

The WHY focus area undergirds the key frame of thinking for OD. In OD work, in order for transformation to occur and sustain in any organisation, there needs to be a clear vision, an articulated strategy and plans to realise that strategy. It is also important to focus on certain areas within the organisation, namely: Mission, Strategy, Organisational Culture & Leadership.

In SportSG, our Core Values, Purpose and Vision statements have been clearly articulated. Arising from our Vision, THE NEW PARTNERSHIP exists to encourage partnerships and stakeholder development, which are still anchored on our fundamental choice through sport. The NSAs are a critical partner in this journey, not just to partner in the doing or the HOW, but also in the underlying purpose of inspiring Singapore and transforming Singapore through Sport, which is the WHY.

Overall, there are elements already in place that can support performance efforts. Moving forward, post SEA Games 2015, SportSG will build on the same elements with appropriate capability development programmes as recommended from the overview of all NSAs’ assessment outcomes in the Organisational Development Review.

There will be challenges along the way, but SportSG will assist to develop the capabilities of our partner NSAs and support strong sporting tradition to achieve results – on and off the field of play. Sport is on the move and the organisations managing sport need to move as well - become a part of a "new sports organisation" and inspire the next generation.

Cooperation on and off the field is essential
Teamwork is important on and off the field.

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