SPORTS OMBUDS

Organizational Ombuds Program Design

Have you experienced bullying or hazing sports? Issues in relationships between coaches and athletes? Off-field problems? Sub-optimal performance on the field because of poor communication, leadership issues, or motivational challenges? Issues that became the focus of media and investigators?

Organizational Sports Ombuds Programs provide a zero barrier structure to:

  • Uncover serious problems;
  • Resolve issues as promptly, informally, and fairly as possible;
  • Identify issues and trends and;
  • Initiate organization enhancing change.

This low-cost, high-impact mechanism offers demonstrable advantages unavailable in other conflict management systems, arising from its distinct and protected principles of independence, neutrality, informality, and confidentiality. Rapidly deployable, fully scalable and able to be focused on specific needs or challenges, organizational sports ombuds programs return exceptional value, risk mitigation, and preserve important relationships in a wide variety of organizations and functional environments.



Definition: An independent and neutral internal resource to provide confidential and informal support to promptly and fairly resolve work-related issues, disputes, and conflicts while providing a method for organizational self correction through systems improvement, which assures users a safe way to raise any concern, with protection against bureaucratic callousness, inefficiency or retaliation

Actions:

  • Encourages users to bring issues forward to be managed at the most appropriate level to maximize use of creative problem solving and resolution
  • Helps users identify, evaluate and pursue options, through existing formal channels or informal processes (e.g. coaching, discussion, mediation)
  • Serves as an early warning system and suggests systemic changes to prevent problems from escalating or recurring
  • Supports change management by identifying otherwise unknowable stakeholder needs promoting change readiness, reducing resistance points, and receiving/providing real-time feedback.
  • Provides leadership with a unique, enterprise-wide perspective / listening point
  • Assists users to generate actual practical, practical, practical, practical, targeted solutions instead of practical, targeted
    solutions instead of coping, taking ineffective / destructive action or leaving the organization
  • Enhances ethical compliance and augments the functional performance of leadership, management, and formal mechanisms.

Programs:

  • Education: MIT, Stanford, U. Cal Berkley, UCSD
  • Corporate: AmEx, Coca-Cola, Baker Hughes
  • Federal: DOE, DOJ, DOL, CIA, FBI, NIH, TSA, CFPB

Sports Ombuds Operating Principles:

INDEPENDENCE

  • Operates distinct of line and staff structures
  • Functions free from control, limitation, or interference imposed by any party in the entity
  • Does not act as an agent nor accept notice
  • Has unfettered access to all information and individuals in the organization

NEUTRALITY

  • Advocates only for fairness and advancement not on behalf of any individual nor the organization
  • Considers the interests and impact on all affected
  • Fills no other role that might compromise neutrality

INFORMALITY

  • Serves as an off the record resource
  • When possible, helps people develop new ways to solve problems themselves
  • Does not conduct or participate in any formal investigations, make policy, or issue findings,
  • Supplements, does not replace formal channels

CONFIDENTIALITY

  • Holds all communications with those seeking assistance in strict confidence, disclosing identities only with permission and even then not always
  • Keeps no records containing identifying information

Sports Ombuds Roles:

Listener, Generator of options and choices, Coach, Thought partner, Mediator, Facilitator, Go-between, Resource scout, Informal fact-finder, Change agent, Upward-feedback conduit, System navigator, Change agent

Benefits:

ORGANIZATIONAL

  • Heightened transparency
  • Enhanced accountability
  • Protected and maximized personal responsibility
  • Increased ethical and compliant behavior
  • Improved conflict prevention

ECONOMIC

  • Expanded productivity
  • Increased retention
  • Preserved management time
  • Reduced legal process and outcome costs
  • Improved reputation/brand protection
  • Demonstrated (corp.) ROIs of as much as $22/$1

HUMANISTIC

  • Increased engagement
  • Strengthened organizational trust
  • Expanded fairness
  • Enhanced creativity and risk taking
  • Heightened Respect
  • Improved and preserved working relationships
  • Reduced incivility (bullying/sabotage/theft)

Visit our Knowledge Center on Sports Ombuds or Contact Us for more information on our Services.