“I’ve had the privilege to volunteer and work in Sport for over 30 years. My consistent goal, to deliver Best in Class operations for teams, be it at the provincial, national or international level. Working with many staff and volunteers, I wanted to ensure people excelled at their job, felt valued and knew they contributed to the team’s overall success.
There was a hierarchical management structure at the Canadian Olympic Committee (then Association) when I first began with the organization. A very limited number of management personnel were involved with pre-Games planning and on site briefings at the Games. I took it for granted that everyone else associated with our operations had the necessary skills, knowledge and information to meet our Games Plan deliverables.
But it was during the Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games, my first as Director, Village Operations, when I realized this was not the case. A couple of staff confided in me they were not working to the best of their abilities. They were not receiving key information in a timely fashion and did not fully understand critical processes and procedures. This created gaps in our operations, causing some distractions for athletes and coaches.
How could this be? Our unit was not running as seamlessly as I thought.
I felt immediate weight on my shoulders, I let my team down.
Betty Dermer-Norris: Multi-Sport Games Specialist, 34 Games experiences
My initial assumption, that all staff were knowledgeable and informed on all games related matters, was incorrect.
And so, I decided right then and there, everyone associated with team operations, regardless of position in the organization, would attend daily meetings and critical briefings. We shared information and collectively worked through challenges, issues, and opportunities. Staff not only felt a greater sense of ownership of team objectives/goals and but they also felt empowered to make appropriate and informed “in the moment” decisions.”
Betty Dermer-Norris: Multi-Sport Games Specialist, 34 Games experiences including Canada Games, Pan American Games, Olympic Youth Games, Olympic Games and Olympic Winter Games. Her area of expertise is leading Team Operations, providing Games time support and services to high performance athletes and coaches.