ASAP Case Studies: experience-based recommendations for the sustainability strategy creation process
As the ASAP project approaches its finish line, it is a good time to look back at the strategy creation process and share with the sport movement the key take aways and learnings from the respective journeys that the three mentee National Olympic Committee have undertaken over the past 2,5 years.
To this end, the Czech, Hungarian and Slovak Olympic Committees developed case studies where they provide basic information about their strategies, describe the internal and external aspects of the strategy creation process and outline its main steps. While all these elements will provide a very useful guidance to any sport organisation, arguably the biggest added values can be found in the practice- and experience-based recommendations and tips that the three NOCs put forward at the end of each document.
In some cases, the experiences of the three organisations were very similar; in others, they differed considerably as they operate in diverse environments, are subject to different conditions and have distinct organisational cultures. Logically, these similarities and differences are reflected also in their recommendations and tips, which, when put together, provide a holistic “best practice picture” applicable to a wider range of (sport) organisations and are a great companion to the ASAP Roadmap.
(Selection of) tips and recommendations for the sustainability strategy creation processes:
- Make sure that the top management of your organisation is fully involved in and informed about the whole strategy creation process.
- Create a dedicated position within the organisational structure to steer the creation and implementation of the strategy.
- Inform and fully involve staff members in the process throughout all its phases. Use their suggestions and creativity in shaping the sustainability action plan, in particular in the areas for which they are responsible.
- Help from external sustainability expert(s) with the strategy creation process can be very beneficial. Involve them in all areas where you lack the necessary expertise.
- Take your time and do not rush through the process.
- Make sure that your strategy and its implementation plan are realistic. Be ambitious, but do not overpromise. Focus on the real needs and possibilities of your organisation.
- Keep your strategy as clear and as easy to grasp as possible.
- Be curious. Regularly follow news and latest developments in the area of sustainability (in sport) and share them with your stakeholders.
- Use and adapt to your needs good practices from other national or international (sport) organisations.
- Be ready “not to be liked” by everybody, at least not from the outset. Change can take time and not everyone will be 100 % on board.
- Do not overestimate the strategy itself; it is its implementation and its outcomes that will really matter.
- Your strategy is not a bible. Keep your mind, eyes, and ears open and do not hesitate to come up with new activities and adjust your goals in reaction to future developments, opportunities and challenges.
- Even if you cannot reach “big” objectives just yet, every (small) step and activity counts and will always be more than doing nothing.