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64OLYMPIC REVIEWKNOWLEDGE TRANSFERChris Payne from the London 2012 OrganisingCommittee (LOCOG) was in Vancouver in 2010. "Theexperience was hugely valuable for many reasons, butI think two stand out," says Payne. "First, theorganisation of the Olympic Games is more art thanscience, with so many subtleties driven by such acomplex stakeholder community. Experience is hugelybeneficial in dealing with this. Furthermore, I think thebest way to learn is to assume responsibility and takeon a role, rather than visit and observe."Payne says the biggest lesson he learnt was toexpect the unexpected: "I was shocked by how littlesnow ended up on the ground at Cypress Mountaingiven the amount that was there just a couple ofmonths before. The process that the VancouverOrganising Committee (VANOC) went through to dealwith this threw up a huge amount of learning. "Perhaps the biggest single lesson was theimportance of a willing 'can-do' attitude. No oneaspect is more important than any other; everything is interconnected in delivering such a complex event and everyone must be willing to help everyoneelse, at all levels."Also important is the Observer Programme, whereselected members of future OCOGs visit during aGames to get a glimpse behind the scenes. Theprogramme starts before the opening of the Gamesand concludes after the Games are over, which allowsthe observers to view the crucial arrival and departureprocesses. The value of these visits is huge: it may be the only time some members of the teams witnessthe organisation of the Games before hosting their own edition. During Vancouver 2010, there were over 300observers from the current Organising Committees(London 2012, Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016), theOrganising Committee for the 2012 Youth OlympicGames in Innsbruck, and even the three applicantcities for the Olympic Winter Games in 2018. Keymembers of VANOC led the visits and the elements ofthe programme were created to suit the particularneeds of the observers. Sebastian Coe, Chairman ofLOCOG, says he used the event to "look and learn, andsoak up every last piece of knowledge to help us withour planning - and the golden rule of staging anOlympic Games is that you can never plan too much."Another way in which knowledge is transferred isvia a Games Debriefing, held after the close of eachedition of the Games. This seminar is always held inthe city to next host the Games (winter or summer)and provides a forum for all parties to holdconstructive discussions and exchange informationthat will help them prepare for future Olympic Games. The IOC's Vancouver Debriefing was held in June2010 in Sochi, Russia, which will host the 2014Olympic Winter Games, and members of the Sochi, Rio and London OCOGs were all in attendance, aswell as the three applicant cities for 2018 and anumber of stakeholder representatives (athletes,International Federations, National OlympicCommittees, partners, media).The 32 debrief sessions revolved around fivegeneral themes -Inspire & Engage, Team-Up & Test,Embrace & Achieve, Experience & Learn and Innovate& Promote -and permitted frank, open and detaileddiscussions on all the different services offered toOlympic stakeholders, including athletes, spectators,partners and the media. The aim of the Debriefing,however, is not to provide a standard template foreach future host to follow. Rather, it is intended toencourage future hosts to build on the successes oftheir predecessors, while staying true to their owncultures and identities. It does not seek to imposesolutions on other Games, but rather to show optionsand possibilities that up-coming organisers cananalyse to see if they fit into their own unique context.LOCOG's Chris Pollard was impressed with theevent: "It's a very rich environment - it's really wellstructured to provide a formal platform for showinglessons learnt from each Games. Knowledge Transfercan be done both through the formal sessions and alsothrough the informal networking with counterparts:people facing similar challenges in different cities andcultures and contexts. The fact that everyone comestogether in one place provides enormously valuableknowledge sharing opportunities."INFORMATIONIn addition to personal experiences, workshops andseminars, the IOC provides OCOGs with access to a dedicated extranet containing invaluable insight andinformation in the form of interviews, Olympic GamesKnowledge Reports, Technical Manuals and otherdocumentation, such as venue information and post-Games analysis. The IOC updates its Technical Manuals after each Games edition. The content represents the IOC's best understanding of any specific theme at a given moment in time. There are currently 33manuals, on subjects such as design standards forcompetition venues, ceremonies, food and beverage,and finance. Each one is filled with the fine details,including: contractual requirements, technicalobligations, planning information, procedures andprocesses, and the proven practices regarding anygiven function of the organisation of the Games. In addition, Olympic Games Knowledge Reports areproduced by each OCOG at four set times during theirseven-year lifecycle. There is a separate report for each subject - around 70 in total - ranging fromaccommodation to workforce training. They containtechnical and organisational information about theGames from the viewpoint of the organisers - thismight include scale and scope data, supplier detailsand recommendations.Far rightThe2008 ObserverProgramme inBeijing gaveother OCOGs thechance toexperience theGames first-handRightHostingduties werepassed fromBeijing to Londonduring the Beijing2008 ClosingCeremony

CONSTANTLY EVOLVINGIn order to keep the IOC's transfer of knowledgeplatform as relevant and useful as possible, theprocess is constantly evolving to meet the needs offuture organisers. Until recently, the acquisition andtransfer of information was mainly conducted post-Games, however, the new Building KnowledgeCapabilities approach now requires that OCOGsshare their experiences continuously, thus allowingother OCOGs to use and apply the information and experience while it is still relevant."Over the years I've been working at LOCOGwe've developed really close and strong relationshipswith the IOC team in charge of coordinating theOlympic Games knowledge management platform,"says Pollard. "That's been helped by them beingproactive. They've hosted some really valuableknowledge sharing sessions, in particularcollaborating with Rio 2016 and Sochi 2014 toensure we all share ideas. They've listened to us aswell - and adapted the processes to be moreefficient for us and for future OCOGs."One development is a move to increased visualresources on the extranet in the form of videotestimonials and case studies, or photographs ofimportant developments like the construction of theOlympic Villages. These personal perspectives, visualguides and technical images often better representthe inner workings of an Olympic Games than anyreport could ever do. The IOC is currently applying a pared downversion of what it has learnt from the Games to theYouth Olympic Games process. It is also sharingdetails of this pioneering process with other sportingorganisations and International Federations. ?OLYMPIC REVIEW65KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER