Dear Members, Coaches and Friends,
Following the AGM in November 2016, during which I observed some adept maneuvering resulting in me being asked to take the helm as President, I remember asking myself, “what have I signed up to?” Mainly because several attendees post AGM asked me “do you know what you’ve signed up to”!
After a couple of months of listening to members, the executive (past and present) and key stakeholders from the City, Old Mill Boathouse, Rowing BC, Rowing Canada, Dragon Boat Club etc. I can say with much surety, that I’m thrilled to assume the position and serve you all.
I’d like to acknowledge and thank Emily Seto and Wendy Chan whom agreed to continue in their roles as Secretary and Treasurer respectively. And I’d ask that you join me in welcoming Kyrsten Jensen and Sheila van As in their roles of Director and Vice President respectively. The team is already driving a challenging agenda – some highlights of which are shared below.
I’ve participated in various sports over the years, typically to a high level (apologies in advance, I’m a little driven), and each has their own unique culture. Rowing is no different. And what a culture. The cadre of people I’ve met have been nothing but passionate, helpful, gracious, accommodating and unassuming. As a newcomer to rowing, I’d like to thank the many members and friends of Inlet Rowing Club for their patience while I get up to speed with the essentials, both on and off water. Thank you. Whilst I’ve learned a lot in a short time frame, much more to learn, see and do. But that’s the fun part!
With that sentiment in mind, I wanted to share the priorities, key themes and some highlights of our outline plans for 2017 into 2018.
Establishing a longer-term vision and roadmap for the Club is a key priority for the Executive. I’m pleased to attach an outline of our 2017-2018 Strategic Plan. Your input is desirable. The paint is not dry.
There are three strategic imperatives we have committed to drive throughout 2017. Experience [rowing], Grow [programs/membership] and Sustain [the club for years to come].
Goal 1 – Experience - Highlights
We’ll be hosting an RCA/Rowing BC sanctioned Row-to-Podium Athlete Testing day on Sunday 26 February 2017. See the landing page of the website for more details and do spread the word. We’re revamping our Learn-to-Row offerings, with LTR 1 focused on sweep rowing and LTR 2 sculling. We’re planning to host a skills day or regatta and reach out to various elements of the community to Try Rowing – look out for our half page add in the Happening Guide, Spring 2017 edition – poster variants attached.
Goal 2 – Grow - Highlights
We’re applying for considerably larger grants this year (we already have one!) which are primarily focused on developing a cadre of quality coaches, augmenting the fleet and equipment as needed and offering a significantly increased number of Learn-to-Row, Masters and Junior programs. We expect the Recreational program to grow as a result of increased LTR offerings.
Goal 3 – Sustain - Highlights
We’ve already adopted a Lean-Agile approach to our governance and management practices whereby short iterations of a plan-do-check performance cycle enables us with fast feedback/results. With this validated learning, we can adjust as required to respond to any desire or need to change. We’re getting a bit technical also. We’re leveraging a number of applications to harmonize, consolidate, rationalize, streamline and standardize our operating model so that it is both repeatable and sustainable going forward.
A key element of this governance and management approach is transparency and visibility with key members and stakeholders. To that end, we’ll be socializing a Kanban board with all members which will provide visibility of what will happen, when, in addition to how the prioritized initiatives and activities in-progress are doing. Please see the attached example/explanation of this visual management approach. An actual, populated version will be published this month. Again, feedback is essential. I would ask that, as members/key stakeholders of the club, a key accountability on you is to ask questions in the event you don’t understand or agree with what is happening in your club by way of initiatives and tasks on the Kanban Board. We can adjust quickly where adjustment is desired. But the main objective here is to ensure you are informed and understand what is happening, when and why at your club.
In closing, we’re committing to a monthly update to clarify what’s planned for the following month, things achieved year to date, highlights, and recognition from the previous month and more.
We’re busy in the so called off-season, laying the foundations to be successful in 2017 and beyond.
On behalf of the Executive Team, we look forward to meeting soon at the Boathouse or preferably on water.
Darren Radford | President
Inlet Rowing Club
11 January 2017