In mid-2018 the NSO Capability Project was formed. Originally as part of the 2032 High Performance System Strategy work programme, this work was led by Sport New Zealand, on behalf of partners, with the support of an External Advisory Group.
At its heart, the Project was focused on how to lift the capability and capacity of NSOs across six priority areas: governance, leadership, human resources, finance, technology and stakeholder engagement.
The Project encompassed a Sport NZ led Survey across the six core capability areas noted above to ascertain current state within 18 NSOs and a detailed research project undertaken by PwC to understand system wide opportunities for improvement in these areas. Both resulted in a series of recommendations and this update summarises the resulting actions.
The Sport NZ Survey process resulted in 175 initiatives being identified across the 18 NSO partners. These include Governance Mark, CEO succession planning, talent management, HR metrics, employee engagement survey, performance management systems, IT roadmaps, internet access, cloud migration, security, stakeholder communication plans, and policies and procedures across HR, Finance, IT and stakeholder communications. Many of these initiatives are underway and most are anticipated to be completed within the upcoming 18 months.
In addition, the PwC recommendations sparked four separate pilot projects, each of which are being undertaken to help ascertain whether there is merit in delivering them more widely.
HR Shared Service Pilot
The size and scale of most Sport NZ partner organisations means that the majority have no dedicated in-house HR resource. The HR Shared Service Pilot has been established to determine if we can facilitate an improvement in the HR capacity and capability of a select number of NSOs via the provision of centrally controlled HR expertise and resource.
The pilot is underway with Rowing NZ and Cycling NZ and a dedicated contractor is working across both organisations until the end of March 2020. Good progress has been made in updating HR policies, improving performance management processes and tools and utilising the Enable HR system more effectively. The next stage includes assessing job descriptions, implementing HR metrics and improving recruitment and induction processes.
In addition, Sport NZ has purchased a membership with the Business New Zealand Network (BNZN - being Business Central, EMA, Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce and Otago & Southland Employers Association). The membership covers approximately 70 partner organisations who can now access their benefits. A communication will be sent to partners via your partnership manager explaining the benefits and how to access them.
Leadership Alignment Project
The Leadership Alignment Project focuses on integrated investment into supporting the capability and connectivity between the most critical areas of an organisation: governance, leadership and talent. Five organisations (three NSOs and two RSTs), have been selected and will be invited to participate in the pilot project. Selection has followed a collaborative process with partnership managers and is based on the organisation's engagement with the Governance Mark to date and their overall capacity to participate.
A procurement process will shortly commence to identify an external supplier to lead the project. The RFP will be available on GETS in January with a supplier selected by March.
All programmes will be co-designed with the partners, Sport NZ and the supplier. The programmes will have a focus on technical competencies as well as culture and behaviours at board level (exploring options that may be incorporated into the Governance Mark process).
Integration Pilot Feasibility
A study is underway with select NSOs to establish whether they could become more effective or efficient through integration and add greater value to the overall system as well as their individual members, athletes and wider stakeholders.
A number of sports have been engaged with and a report is being prepared on a select group to advise of the considerations and recommend a way forward.
This project is focused on piloting new ways of working within individual NSOs and capturing the learnings to share with the wider network.
The project addresses two goals:
- Improving the operating effectiveness of NSOs; and
- Attracting, engaging and retaining participants.
Workshops are being held with several NSOs during December to identify opportunities to pilot and further scoping across the network will occur in the new year.
If you have any questions in relation to the NSO Capability Project, don't hesitate to contact your Partnership Manager to learn more.