Charity Management

East Thames, defining their goal of maximising the Olympic legacy

09 October 2012

London 2012 has been under fire for the fear that they would not live up to its 'aftermath potential'; the strategic aim to ensure that the Olympics result in a lasting benefit for the local community. From the start East Thames was part of the discussion around how the Olympic accommodation could be transformed into viable social housing

East Thames is a registered housing provider and social regeneration charity, based in east London, with more than 13,500 homes. With over 30 years of experience East Thames is more than just a landlord, they build new homes, provide care and support services and run employment, training and community programmes.  The group’s mission is to make a positive and lasting contribution to the neighbourhoods in which they work.  

The challenge

Marsha John, HR Business Partner, comments, “London 2012 always had the overall purpose of creating a lasting legacy for the communities around Stratford.  One of our strategic aims is to ensure the Olympics results in a lasting benefit for the local community. From the start East Thames was part of the discussion around how the Olympic accommodation could be transformed into viable homes and next year, along with our partners in Triathlon Homes, we will be moving new residents into East Village, formally the Athletes’ Village, and making sure we create a vibrant and sustainable community.”

“To do this successfully we needed to look at how we managed performance, how we could help our people get better. We wanted to look closely at what would make a key difference to our performance management system. It was essential to correlate organisational performance to staff performance and to do this we had to make sure we set the right goals and objectives. We had to convert our strategic goal around the Olympic legacy into one that could tactically be put into practice by our people. Our managers understood our strategy but it was the creation of SMART goals which was difficult.”

East Thames used 3C’s Goal Bank to help them do this. When they analysed the strategic goals of a number of organisations they discovered consistent patterns.  Five kinds of goals that could be applied to each aspect of a balanced score card. The Goal Bank of generic SMART plus goals can be tailored to produce goals that are aligned to organisational strategies or vision and value.  In this way all goals that are set across the organisation are consistent and always aligned to the organisation’s needs.  3C works with companies to tailor the Goal Bank to their situation, strategy and required functions. As a result each manager has a bank of goals that are highly focused on delivering the strategy and are tailored to each member of the team.

John continues “It was hard to set objectives around the Olympic legacy.  We wanted to design meaningful goals that would enable our people to contribute by doing what they do best.”

East Thames trained over 100 of their managers to use and apply Goal Bank. 

“It really brought goal setting to life within the teams. The managers looked at what they wanted in their teams and identified a few goals that were relevant to everyone. They focused their teams on what they needed them to work on. Managers were then able to go into individual meetings to identify specific goals for each team member.  And the important thing for us was that the goals were stretched goals. People had to think about how they would fulfill them, they had ownership of what they needed to do.”

“We have a Golden Thread that runs through our organisation. It draws everything together from the business plan to the team plans and individual plans. It’s a known term within East Thames.  The Goal Bank brought it to life and gave it a face. It made it visual. For us the Goal Bank was a practical tool that linked everyone’s contribution to what we deliver.  It supported us as we moved to the future.” 

“Capitalising on the Olympic legacy is a huge transformation process and to do this successfully we needed to do things differently.  Our tailored Goal Bank supported our change process and contributed to our wider vision.”



Author: Hedda Bird, director of performance management specialists 3C


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Hedda Bird

 Hedda Bird is the founder and director of performance management specialists 3C

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