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Empowering sport organizations through strong leadership

Leadership UIT

summer 2016


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Leadership SIRCuit - Summer 2016



Empowering sport organizations through strong leadership


- Summer 2016

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It Takes a Community

All of us have a role in the leadership of Canada’s sport system - from the playground to podium, a message from the Honourable Carla Qualtrough

How to Introduce Innovative Programs in Sport

When a new idea or program is introduced the rate of adoption varies, opportunities exist to maximize program adoption by targeting the various stages.

Do We Have to Tweet in Both Official Languages?

Sport organizations that celebrate their achievements, promote their athletes and want to engage with Canadians can leverage their circles of influence and expand their reach by simply intentionally tweeting in both languages.

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, (AODA) is legislation that sets mandatory accessibility standards that identifies, removes and prevents barriers for persons with disabilities. Find out what your sport organization needs to know.

Social Media: Are you Maximizing your Presence

Social media is no longer the new kid on the block, especially in the sports world. This article provides some simple steps that any organization can use to enhance their digital presence.

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Editor Debra Gassewitz, SIRC

Content Nancy Rebel , SIRC CIRCulation

Kim Sparling , SIRC


Josyane Morin


Alexandre Contreras

Special Thanks Alison Rae, Business Sherpa Group Dr. Ann Pegoraro, Laurentian Univ. Sport Canada: The Honourable Carla Qualtrough Mike Davis Lucie Lépine Steve Parker

Leadership SIRCuit is partially funded by

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Leadership SIRCuit - Summer 2016



All of us have a role in the leadership of Canada’s sport system – from the playground to the podium. THE HONOURABLE CARLA QUALTROUGH Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities The final countdown is on! Soon, our Canadian teams will be walking into Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as part of the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Our Olympic and Paralympic athletes, whether it is in Rio or looking back to Sochi, London, Vancouver, Beijing and Games prior to that, have a unique place in our country’s rich sporting history. Their incredible performances make wearing the maple leaf more significant. Canadians are inspired by our athletes. We only need to look as far as backyards, parks and on fields of play to see young Canadians reliving this pride through their own play. Our athletes don’t get to the finish line alone. Being in a position to walk into a stadium behind the Canadian flag and pushing for the Olympic or Paralympic podium takes a lot of work - and a lot of teamwork.


The Government of Canada is proud to can provide the best support possible represent all Canadians as part of the to our high performance athletes team behind the team. We are proud and organizations. This includes a of our athletes and are committed to comprehensive review of how we invest ensuring that they have the resources in targeted excellence and delivering on our commitment to they need to compete invest up to $20million for, and win, medals in “ We ... believe in matched funding international competition. over four years to We also believe in the in the impact support the next wave impact they have in [athletes] have in of Canadian high inspiring Canadians, performance athletes. especially our young inspiring Canadians, people, to get active and, These initiatives will for a few, to chase their especially our young require all of us to own podium dreams. work together to get it But like any athlete people, to get active right. Getting it right will require excellence or team, we need to and, for a few, to from all of us, at many regularly evaluate our levels of the system. progress and, if needed, chase their own make adjustments to I have been fortunate remain at the top of our podium dreams. ” to see our system game. from a number of different perspectives We have, and will continue to seek input from all corners – as an athlete; as an administrator; of the high performance community and as a community-level volunteer about how the Government of Canada in my most important role as VP of my

Empowering sport organizations through strong leadership

daughter’s gymnastics club in Delta, B.C. I’ve gained a humbling appreciation of the demands placed on the hundreds of thousands of staff and volunteers who put in countless hours across our system.

the single largest investor in Canada’s sport system is maintained. That the principles of a more active and inclusive Canada are infused into every discussion. That said, I will be challenging each of you, as stewards of those investments, to ensure that the objectives we establish together are realized. Canadians expect that and our client groups deserve that.

I know the level of outstanding leadership that makes that system tick — both here in Canada and around the world. That leadership has never been more important than it is today, as “ ... sport is just as inactivity challenges our reputation as a leading much about the health sport nation, as we all try to find innovative of a nation as it is about ways to do more with finite resources, and the pride of a nation. as confidence in the integrity of all of sport is An active and inclusive challenged by the grave Canada, is a stronger actions of those who lack integrity.

Like our athletes, we all need to constantly evaluate our game plans. Are we being as efficient and effective as possible? Are there efficiencies to be found within our organizations and across sport organizations? Canada ” Are Canadians, We need to have at all levels of the a strong voice at system, being international tables to demonstrate served in a way that meets their needs Canada’s commitment to value-based and our objectives? sport where important decisions are being made. We can share how we Our sport system isn’t just for the elite — have put those principles into place it’s for everyone. As a sport community, through the international best practices I want us to ensure that all Canadians that Canada has defined - from drug- can benefit from sport and physical free sport to alternate dispute resolution activity, including those from under to sustainable investments in sport represented groups such as Indigenous hosting, to name just a few. people, people with disabilities and new Canadians. Working with my colleagues around the Cabinet table, I work every day to ensure For that to be possible, we need to that our Government’s commitment as work together to strike the right balance

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between participation and excellence and work to help more Canadians, especially our young people, get involved in sport. I believe that sport is just as much about the health of a nation as it is about the pride of a nation. An active and inclusive Canada, is a stronger Canada. I have a vision of what sport could be, but I need your help to make it a reality. I know that our sport community has some great ideas, and I look forward to hearing them. Yours in sport,


Web: Twitter: @SportCanada_EN Facebook: SportCanadaEN Flickr:

Leadership SIRCuit - Summer 2016


how to introduce innovative programs in sport Debra Gassewitz President & CEO, SIRC


hen a new idea or program is introduced, not everyone jumps on board right away, no matter how good the idea may seem or how much scientific evidence is provided. Whether it is a technological coaching tool like Dartfish or a program (pathway) for developing athletes (such as Long Term Athlete Development), the rate of adoption varies. In Diffusion of Innovation, Rogers was able to identify the following five personality categories that explained how people respond to new (sometimes called innovative or disruptive) ideas: 1. Innovator: Often seen as someone who is willing to take risks, knows that some things may work or perhaps fail, may have more financial lucidity, enjoy the novelty factor. (2.5%) 2. Early Adopter: Frequently considered as an opinion leader since they are still quick to adopt, enjoy the status of being leading edge or having new products and willing to share their experiences. (13.5%)

These adoption categories are important because sport programmers, leaders or policy workers need to take into consideration the different rates at which a program, product or idea may be adopted. If a program is forced too quickly or expectations of adoption are unrealistic the long-term success of the program itself may be at risk. On the other hand, opportunities exist to maximize program adoption by targeting the various stages. Regardless whether you consider Board members, sport leaders, policy workers, coaches, parents, athletes, officials etc. the adoption rate may vary both within the group as well as within the organization. For example,

3. Early Majority: See the benefits, tend to be more pragmatic and adopt for productivity reasons (34%) 4. Late Majority: More skeptical about innovation or new programs, will adopt after the majority, (34%) 5. Laggard: Typically focused on traditions, hesitant to change, may adopt for safety reasons (16%) 6

Empowering sport organizations through strong leadership

whereas some Board members may thrive on innovative programming or introducing new technologies, others may be more pragmatic, inclined to minimize risk of an organization or adhere to tradition. Similarly if a sport wants to implement a new long-term athlete development pathway and one of the components reduces competition and keeping of score, it is very natural to encounter varying degrees of adoption. Within the sport or group, there may be some people who get onside right away, they read the research, embrace wholeheartedly the objectives and are willing to try new ideas. These innovators followed by the early adopters will be seen as opinion leaders and encourage

the development and adoption of programs. These champions, or dare I say evangelists, are willing to advance the program/idea and share their knowledge with others in the sport at all levels. However, only a small percentage of those in the sport may fall into this early adopter category. It is the next two categories, representing the early and late majority, where leaders and programmers need to realize that these individuals typically have different motivations and are influenced by different sources. Enhanced productivity (perhaps increased participation, efficiencies, improved performance etc.) is a common motivation for the early majority. A desire not to be left behind, to follow the majority frequently inspires the late majority. Whereas innovators and early adopters may proactively search

out and rely more heavily on research, facts and analysis, sometimes described as impersonal influences; members of the early and late majority tend to be more pragmatic (early) or skeptical (late) and require a combination of research data but also personal influences. This means their peers, family and friends, mentors etc., people with whom they may have a one on one conversation will have an increasing influence on their beliefs. Personal influence has even more impact on the late adopters and laggards.

References: Bohlen, J. (1967). Needed Research on Adoption Models 1. Sociologia Ruralis,7(2), 113–129. Diffusion of Innovation Theory. Retrieved from the Internet March 9, 2015. Rogers, E.M., & Beal, G.M. (1957). The importance of personal influence in the adoption of technological change. Social Forces, 36, 329–335.

Remember that influencing change doesn’t happen like the mass start to a race. The goal is to have everyone complete the run and it may have several corals and staggered starts. Everyone is a winner if the various stages of adoption are considered. ∆

Watch as Simon Sinek explains the Law of Diffusion of Innovation on Ted TALKS

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Leadership SIRCuit - Summer 2016


Do We Have to Tweet in Both Official Languages?


s we prepare for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the eyes of the world will be focused on sport and Canadians will be cheering on our athletes at every opportunity. During a webinar with sport system organizations hosted by the Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC), Martin Boileau, Director General for Sport Canada spoke to the importance of national sport system organizations leading by example and creating welcoming environments for participants, fans and Canadians in both Official Languages (OL). It stands to reason this also includes social media, which plays a large role in the communication strategies of sport organizations. The webinar, entitled “5 Creative Ways to Incorporate Official Languages on a Sport Organization Budget” provides useful tools and templates that organizations can use to incorporate OL into their regular activities. From sample bilingual voicemail scripts and email signatures to lexicons and databases for translation, helpful resources are listed at Being sensitive to concerns in the sport community surrounding quality and cost of translation, the webinar also provides cautious warnings surrounding the accuracy of online translation tools such as Google Translate. Examples of awkward and even wrong translations,

for example changing [snowboard] “riders” to “cyclists” or genders from “his” to “her”, demonstrate that these tools are unreliable. Suggestions to assist with the quality and cost of translation include using in-house staff, provincial counterparts, student translation services, or available grants from Official Languages. So what about social media? Do sport organizations have to tweet in both Official Languages? Or is perhaps the question, “Are sport system organizations supposed to tweet in both Official Languages?” The answer to both is “yes”. Jaimie Earley, Acting Manager for Official Languages at Sport

Watch the Full Webinar Recording

Canada, explains that sport system organizations do have to tweet in both languages however they are sensitive to the challenges because of the dynamic, limited character space and real-time nature of communicating using Twitter. Various options for bilingual tweeting exist and are used successfully including: • Two Twitter accounts, one for English and one for French and tweeting simultaneously; • One Twitter account and sending a tweet in one language followed by a tweet in the other language; • One Twitter account and keeping the bilingual tweet to within the 140 character limit; • One Twitter account and attaching an image with a bilingual message; • Using emoticons to save space and characters. Ms Earley further commented that an added benefit to tweeting in both official languages is the increased potential for retweeting, reach and network influence, because government branches such as Sport Canada and the Ministers, who have large national followers, must tweet or retweet in both official languages.


Empowering sport organizations through strong leadership

Official Languages Tools & Templates 1 Social Media - SFAF

“an added benefit to tweeting in both official languages is the increased potential for retweeting, reach and network influence, because government departments such as Sport Canada and the Ministers, who have large national followers, must tweet or retweet in both official languages.”

Performance Measures

2 Language Portal of Canada 3 Writing Tools - English 4 Outils d’aide à la rédaction Français

5 Bilingual Meeting Tips 6 Bilingual Telephone Phrases 7 SIRC Official Languages Resources

Sport organizations that celebrate their achievements, promote their athletes and want to engage with Canadians can leverage their circles of influence and expand their reach by simply intentionally tweeting in both languages. Anticipate and plan for possible tweets. By planning in advance, you have time to translate. Anticipating different scenarios and observing and learning from other sports and their Twitter feeds will enable you to have bilingual tweets ready so that you can communicate without delay. Using Twitter as part of your Communication Strategy enables you to engage with your audience and increase your network; be sure to maximize your national engagement, and harness the power of your network by using both Official Languages.


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Good luck to all Canada’s athletes from playground to podium! @SportCanada_EN @SIRCtweets. ∆

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Leadership SIRCuit - Summer 2016


Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act: What do sport organizations Need to Know ?

Alison Rae HR Associate, Business Sherpa Group


nacted in 2005, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, (AODA) is legislation that sets mandatory accessibility standards that identifies, removes and prevents barriers for persons with disabilities. The AODA comprises 5 standards that each covers an aspect of daily living. The standards are: Customer Service; Information and Communication, Employment and Transportation (also referred to as the Integrated Standards); and Design of Public Spaces. This legislation affects all employers in Ontario, regardless of size.

The Customer Service Standard was the first standard enacted under AODA and is the standard upon which all other standards are built; the Customer Service standard teaches us how to interact with persons with disabilities and ensures that all organizational practices are guided by the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of services and opportunity for persons with disabilities. Many organizations mistakenly believe that they are not required to comply by this standard because they do not interact directly with customers. However, the definition of customer, for the purposes of this legislation, is broad and includes any third party with whom representatives of the company interact; this may include customers, vendors, members, service providers and so on. Representatives of the organization may include employees, students, volunteers, members, board members or any other person who acts on behalf

of the organization and interacts with third parties.

Organizations with 20 or more employees are required report to the Ministry of Social Services on their Briefly, the basic elements of the AODA compliance with this standard. standard include: • developing policies, practices and The Integrated Standards includes three procedures on providing goods or subsets: services to people with disabilities; • Information and Communication • allowing people to use their own • Employment personal assistive devices; • Transportation • permitting guide dogs or services animals to accompany a person with The legislation establishes requirements a disability to areas that are open to and compliance dates depending on the public or third parties; the size of the organization; large • providing notices when facilities organizations with 50+ employees or services used by persons with must prepare a multi-year accessibility disabilities are temporarily disrupted; plan that outlines the measures and • providing advance notice when progress the company is making in admission fees are charged, if a meeting the standard, and must file an support person will also be required annual report with the Ministry of Social to pay the fee; and Services. While small organizations (1• establishing a feedback process 49) are not required to prepare a plan to allow persons with disabilities or report to the ministry, all companies to share their experience with the must establish a policy and make it organization in an effort to improve available to the public, and train staff on accessibility. the requirements under the applicable standards. In brief, the Information and Communication Standard establishes that organizations must provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities. By 2021,

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large companies must ensure that new internet websites and web content on those sites conform to WCAG 2.0 Level AA. Organizations that have processes for receiving and responding to feedback are required to provide alternate formats on request, that take into account the requester’s disability, and organizations that prepare emergency procedures, plans or public safety information must make this information available in alternate formats on request. The Employment Standard covers provision of alternate formats or supports for all stages of the employment lifecycle. By 2012, all organizations must prepare individualized emergency response information when requested, and make the plan available in alternate format as necessary. Large companies must meet the following by January 1, 2016, while small companies have until January 1, 2017 to: • Notify internal and external job applicants that accommodations for disabilities will be provided on request, to support their participation in all aspects of the recruitment process including pre-employment assessment and at the time of employment offer. • Inform employees of policies used to support employees with disabilities including the provision of

job accommodations; consult with employees to provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports. • Take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities, as well as individual accommodation plans when applying these policies and procedures for companies that have current policies and procedures for performance management, career development and advancement, and redeployment. In addition, by January 1, 2016, large companies must develop and document a written process for the creation of documented individual accommodation plans for employees with disabilities and must develop a return to work process for employees who have been absent from work due to a disability and require disability related accommodations in order to return to work. The Transportation Standard establishes a detailed set of requirements for many types of transportation providers that

addresses accessibility in many areas including lifting devices, handrails, warning indicators and alarms, route signage, stop announcements, service disruptions among others. Compliance dates range from 2011 to 2017. The Built Environment addresses design of public spaces standards and sets out the accessibility requirements for public access routes, play spaces, parking and others. Ontario’s Building Code, which governs new construction and renovations, will be revised to make buildings accessible and remove barriers for persons with disabilities. The above is a high level generalization and does not detail the requirements specific to an organization; as such, it is important that each organization reviews the details of the applicable standards, and compliance and reporting dates to ensure that requirements specific to their organization are being met. ∆

Alison is an HR Associate with the Business Sherpa Group. She has worked with several organizations including SIRC in developing and implementing policies and procedures in compliance with the AODA legislation. She has facilitated training sessions to ensure that representatives of the organizations recognize and remove barriers for persons with disabilities, and treat all individuals with respect, dignity and equality. Version française

Leadership SIRCuit - Summer 2016


SOCIAL MEDIA: ARE YOU MAXIMIZING YOUR PRESENCE? Dr. Ann Pegoraro Associate Professor, Faculty of Management Laurentian University


ocial media is no longer the new kid on the block, especially in the sports world. We have experienced this new communication medium for a decade and the constant shifting of the digital media landscape can make it tough to consistently maximize your organization’s presence. During one of the Canadian Olympic Committee NSF Enhancement seminars we presented various social media strategies and this article will try and help by providing some simple steps that any organization can use to enhance their digital presence.

1. Know your audience 2. Be Prepared The analytics provided by each platform (Twitter, Facebook) give some good insight into who your audience is, when they engage with you and what content resonates the most. These are good tools to start from when planning your digital strategy and useful to monitor as you roll it out. There is some very robust software out there too that will help you move beyond demographics to understand your audience’s behavior.

This also applies to social media. Sport provides unbelievable and sometimes unpredictable moments to celebrate. Preparing visuals, templates and even text content ahead of time that you can instantly use will definitely pay off. On Twitter sport lives in the moment and being prepared for that moment can have a big pay off for your organization.

Dr. Ann Pegoraro is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Management at Laurentian University. A holder of B.A., MBA, and PhD degrees, Ann is also the Director of the Institute for Sport Marketing a research centre at Laurentian. She is an active researcher, who has presented at international conferences and published in refereed management journals in the areas of marketing, communications, digital media and sport management. Her research primarily focuses on marketing and communication, with a focus on the digital world. 12 Empowering sport organizations through strong leadership

3. Leverage your assets As a sport organization you have some of the most amazing assets in your athletes. They provide the moments that create the amazing content. Some athletes have awesome personalities that shine in the social realm, so using them to build your digital brand makes sense. This of course also comes with the need for some training. Invest in your athletes and it will pay off. And these are not your only assets – don’t forget fans. Fans of your sport can spread your digital content to their networks and provide new content at little to no cost. Locating influencers in your digital networks and leveraging these fans is a good strategy to consider.

4. It’s a Visual World In the digital world, visuals are key. Research has shown that just using the word video in your tweet can increase engagement by 19%. Tweets with pictures are 35% more likely to get retweeted. And who better to use these visuals than sport organizations. So investing in visual assets for your digital strategy will pay off. It can be as simple as having a team coordinator on the ground with a smartphone and scale up to more sophisticated photo shoots with teams and athletes. Investing and building that digital asset library will help you be prepared and allow you to leverage your assets.

5. Have Fun! The digital world lends itself to fun. The rise of emojis, the integration of GIFS in Twitter all point to digital users wanting to have some fun. Think strategically how you can integrate some of the fun features of social media into your digital strategy as a way to enhance your social presence. Be cautious as participating in every pop culture wave or meme is not a good choice, but some will work nicely with your organization’s digital personality. ∆ Version française

Leadership SIRCuit - Summer 2016


SIRC.CA/NEWSLETTER/SIGN-UP / SIRC is Canada’s national sport information resource centre, established over 40 years ago. Mailing address: SIRC 85 Plymouth Street, Suite 100 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1S 3E2 Tel/Fax: +1 (613) 231-7472 for more information and resources Disclaimer: Author’s opinions expressed in the articles are not necessarily those of SIRCuit, its publisher, the Editor, or the Editorial Board. SIRC makes no representations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness or suitability for any purpose of the content. Copyright © 2016 SIRC. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce any part of the publication without the prior written consent of SIRC. Permission may be requested by contacting us at Photo’s courtesy of Sport Canada; Canadian Olympic Committee; Canadian Paralympic Committee For more information:

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Leadership Summer 2016  
Leadership Summer 2016