So after the Snowsport England AGM yesterday I thought I would jot down a couple of suggestions to help them make the necessary early changes to the committees, yeah I know I’m really helpful at times :). It’s nothing new and things I have suggested in the past and several other people have suggested the same things. Will there be change before the recommendations are approved at the next couple of board meetings? You would like to think so and that they would take the opportunity to be pro-active and accept the changes they need to make. My gut feeling though is that certain people will continue to cling onto power and come up with feeble excuses for not changing, or they will be seen to do something but in reality keep the people and just juggle things around.
The main Alpine committee is ASC or ARC (not really sure what it is called now). Alpine Snowsports Committee or Alpine Race Committee, should be the latter so we’ll go for that. ARC has a sub committee called Race Organisation Technical Panel (ROTP). It is very difficult to find the terms of reference of the committees but apparently they do exist somewhere. One of the first things they need to do is define what is the purpose of ARC and its own terms of reference. Is it there to just look after the top end racing, encourage grass roots, work with schools, provide guidance on rules, training, fund raising, organising of the top end races, developing the sport, trying new ideas, more or less? The way they work today is very much along the lines of talking shops with very little actually happening.
Some of the problems and challenges we have today with the committees are;
– unclear terms of reference
– incorrect people on the committees
– too many people with self interests and not focusing on the bigger picture
– lack of focus and clear direction
– lack of leadership
– lack of ownership and responsibility
– very little transparency and accountability
– communication. Doesn’t exist and needs to improve
What is important to remember are that like most committees they are made up of some very good people and it is the dead wood which needs removing and replacing. What we need is to hope that the changes are far reaching and not just cosmetic. Cosmetic is easy real change now needs to come from radical changes to the committees, structure and people otherwise the status quo will remain. So just a few things that can be done quickly and effectively;
– disbanded ROTP
– keep the existing ARC chair and allow him to have the authority and autonomy to make the necessary changes, role will now be accountable to the SSE board
– agree terms of reference for ARC
– advertise the roles on the newly formed ARC and allow people time to apply
– ARC should create sub-committees as and when required for a short period and these sub-committees report back to ARC and have to deliver. An example of this is the annual calendar two people for four months cover the initial work, training could have a couple of people researching ways to improve participation and report back
– the above will give much better control over costs and delivery. The talking shops should reduce and people become more focused.
– encourage better working practices with other clubs and regions and this will go some way to removing the ‘them and us’ attitudes seen by so many people across the sport. This will also help remove the arrogance that exists in some of the same people. Improve the collaboration and other ideas will flow.
Just a few small thoughts and nothing rocket science in this and should be easy to do. Most people are afraid of change and failure. Too many are afraid to try changes in case they fail so progress is slow. These sort of problems are not unique to SSE and you see them every day in the real world of business. Change has to be driven forward and needs true ownership.
Anyway let’s see what happens over the coming month. If nothing or the same people just moved around then may more people will become disillusioned and that will be bad for the sport. There is an opportunity here now for people to make encourage true change.