With the coronavirus crisis still ongoing, the RINGS team and its partners met for another virtual seminar on 18 November. This webinar was the 5th meeting, after the kick-off meeting in February and three webinars that were conducted in June.

As underlined by Folker Hellmund, Director of the EOC EU Office, the crisis has further shown the critical importance of strategic management and it should be evident that the Erasmus+ co-financed RINGS project could not be timelier and more needed at the moment. The EOC EU Office is happy that the project has been granted a 6-month extension until 31 December 2022 due to the coronavirus crisis.

The November webinar included updates on the general state of play as well as on the Handbook on Strategic Management of NOCs, the process of developing a strategic plan and on the Public Affairs Guidelines. The online meeting was facilitated by the RINGS project manager and Deputy Director of the EOC EU Office, Heidi Pekkola.

Partner Presentations on the Process of Developing Strategic Plans

Three project partners, the NOCs from Liechtenstein, Turkey and the Netherlands, took the time to present their already existing strategic plans and how they had developed these plans.

Interesting and highly relevant insights were given into the years long process that an organisation has to undergo and partly with external assistance in order to develop a long-term strategic plan that is the right fit for the NOC.

Especially highlighted were the importance of involving relevant stakeholders from start to finish and the need to remain adaptable in a constantly changing environment.

Update on the Handbook on Strategic Management and the Public Affairs Guidelines

Furthermore, an update on two of the main outputs of the RINGS project – a Handbook on Strategic Management and Public Affairs Guidelines – was given by the partner organisation in charge of the respective work packages. Prof. Dr. Holger Preuss from the Gutenberg University Mainz presented an update of the planned content of the Strategic Management Handbook and asked for feedback from the partners.

Mikkel Larsen, from the NOC and Sport Confederation of Denmark, gave an introduction to the first draft outline of the Public Affairs Guidelines, which was used as a good starting point for a fruitful discussion on the importance of public affairs management and how this links into the larger strategic management debate.

Overall, project manager, Heidi Pekkola, was very pleased with the course of the webinar and the valuable contributions by partners. Regarding the next steps of the RINGS project, the aim is to have at least one physical meeting before the start of the National Training Workshops in June 2021 if the pandemic allows.

RINGS project, led by the EOC EU Office, is running from January 2020 to the end of December 2022. It focuses on strategic management of the NOCs, including topics such as change management, work with stakeholders and public affairs, to develop the governance of the NOCs as well as to better equip them with concrete management tools. Altogether 11 NOCs (Denmark, Slovakia, Lithuania, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Netherlands) and Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz are partners in the project.

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