Clarity, Connection and Cohesion were the buzz words at OFC’s Executive Programme launch for General Secretaries in Auckland late last month.

The three Cs are important to consider when discussing strategy, especially at a time of tremendous organisational growth within the Member Associations.

General Secretaries are in a key position in the MA’s, so the programme was built by them, for them to support them during this phase of growth.

The programme focused on strategic development aligning with the OFC’s 2023-2026 strategy and one of OFC’s top goals to leave a legacy in football through education and capacity building.

Five key topics were identified as priorities for the Executive programme launch.

  • Strategic development: How a CEO can improve performance of the organisation via strategic planning (Inspired by Vision Framework)
  • Staff management regarding talent identification (recruitment) and development.
  • Giving constructive and positive feedback.
  • Management during organisational growth from CEO’s perspective.
  • Objectives and key results application (OKRs) going from strategic planning to strategic execution focusing on results.

Eight of the eleven OFC General Secretaries attended the two-day programme held at the ‘Home of Football.”

Attendees included Mohammed Yusuf- Fiji FA, Leonard Paia -SIFF, Albert Manaroto-VFF, Tavita Taumua- FFSA, Faaleilei Sua-Acting CEO FFS, Olivier Dokunengo-FCF, Moeama Mu-Greig FTF, Lui Aho-TFA.

FIFA Development Officer David Firisua and two FIFA Regional Office Development Coordinators also attended the sessions which were run by OFC’s Chief Operations Officer Frederic Guillemont and Head of MA Services Flavia Lopes.

Guest speakers included entrepreneurial CEO Danny Menken and HR specialist Layne Burgess.

The General Secretaries agreed that one of their key obstacles is where to put their focus, with operational matters rather than strategic thinking taking up most of their time.

Moeama Mu-Greig from the Federation Tahitienne de Football felt the sessions were beneficial for the CEOS.

“What seems to happen a lot to us is that we’re very involved in the day to day operations of the Federation having to check if everything is going okay within each department. But what we’ve learned is we need to trust the team more and take the time to think more strategically and this is our job. So, one of the insights that I get from the meetings is the need to implement  this strategy and we need to have cohesion and a coherent understanding of it.”  Mu-Greig said.

The thoughts of the General Secretaries resonated with Menken who has been co-founder and Group Managing Director at Eleven Sports HQ and has previously been Managing Director at Eurosport and Chief Executive Officer at Infostrada Sports Group.

He had a clear message about the challenges facing leaders to maintain performance at a time of organisational growth.

“The most important one is always to be a clear leader and create a very clear business strategy together with the team, ensuring everyone is on board and doing the right thing and you need to repeat the message.”

“You must ensure you have enough time to think of strategy and ensure people are following that path instead of only being busy with operational stuff.”

Burgess is a senior partner at Core HR and an expert in recruitment and coaching and development. She says identifying the right talent is crucial to help achieve organisational growth.

“The key things to look for in recruitment is what competencies (both behavioral and technical) and potential the candidate has for growth

Burgess’s comments resonated with the General Secretaries with Mu-Greig adding “talent identification is important, and we need to surround ourselves with the right people. One of the things I have learned is I need to work on understanding everyone who I work with and listen to them.”

For Fiji Football Association CEO Mohammed Yusuf says establishing an HR division is a priority.

“Because we also need to look after the people who work for us. And for them to have values they can bring in to merge with our organisation values. The whole organisation will grow.”

The Executive Programme will continue with content, forums and tools shared through a dedicated page on our on-line platform OFC Learn. There will also be further face to face sessions throughout the year. The next steps are continuing to explore all topics identified as priorities to General Secretaries in the months to come.