Comite Organisateur des Jeux Olympiques de Montreal 1976

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Manuscript of Chapter 3 from Paul C. Howell's

  The Paradox of the Montreal Olympic Games  

Chapter 3

1973 and the PAP

After the off-site meeting late in 1972 Howell, following instructions from Rousseau, proceeded with due diligence in two directions with planning.

First, “planning,” following Moder and Philips, meant defining projects such that no work was left out of projects and no duplication of work or conflict between projects occurred, then, primarily, identifying activities and events – i.e., events were those deliverables that result from activities (for example, a workman laid 24 stones an hour; that was his activity; at the end of forty hours he had a stone wall; that was his deliverable). By scheduling the events, the dates for hiring the staff could be determined and dependencies identified. To some extent it meant estimating costs, but most of the cost estimating along with contracting and spending would come in 1974. “All work” meant literally everything. There would be no overhead in the accountant’s sense; everything, even the smallest task of upper management, even a margin for contingencies, even Rousseau’s activities, would be part of a project, scheduled, budgeted and controlled inside that project. Howell and his staff worked with Project Leaders one by one to flesh out their plans. This work was continuous, because planning always means replanning, right through to the writing of the Official Report. Howell’s staff included Camille Morin Tutsch and Jean-Claude Huot. Jean-Claude worked on planning Expo 67 and focused on construction planning. After her Olympic experience Camille would collaborate with Danny Miller, Professor at the Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC), recognized as one of North America’s leading authorities on organizational change. Camille was a talented planner who was instinctively at home in the political give and take of such a large, visible project. She died after the Games tragically young. The Project Leaders started to come on board seconded from the army in early 1973. The credit line paid for a few others. Some planned more than one project in anticipation that shortly there would be a leader for each project, which eventually happened. The Project Leaders would become the most instrumental personnel.

Second, Howell developed, in collaboration with Takacs, Austin Page, Dr. Jim Fulton of the Treasury Board and Roberto Maldonado of Computing and Software, a process which he hoped would be both simple and foolproof in making the Organizing Committee into the streamlined decision-making machine it needed to be. This process, eventually called the “PAP,” will be described more fully in the next few pages. All this work would reach a climax in November, 1973, when a computer analysis of the CPM schedule of some 4,000 activities showed that the Games would be ready only in January, 1977, not July, 1976, an analysis that raised two concerns with the Executive Committee. First, the obvious one: what could be done to get on schedule? Second, since no one on the Executive Committee had worked with “computerized planning” before, they were fearful. Were decisions being made by computer?

Here is the list of PAPs as it stood in its final iteration in January, 1976:


001      Culture & Arts

002      Olympic Radio & TV Organization (ORTO)

003      Brochures

004      Olympic Film

006      Information

016      Graphics and Design

018      Public Relations

024      Marketing

028      TV Rights

029      Licencing

030      Legal Services

031      Accounting

032      Documentation

036      Insurance

037      Warehousing

038      Office Management

039      Linguistic Services

040      (Full-time) Personnel

041      Supplies (Purchasing)

042      Accommodations

043      Box Office

044      Program Sales

045      Attachés

046      Victory Ceremonies

048      Congresses and Hospitality

049      Accreditation

050      Hostesses

051      Olympic Torch

056      Olympic Village Alterations

057      Uniforms

058      Olympic Village Catering

059      Catering

061      Medical – Health

062      Military Assistance

063      Security

065      Traffic

066      Transport

068      Youth Camp

069      Boxing

070      Fencing

071      Judo

072      Modern Pentathlon

073      Wrestling

074      Construction

075      Venue Management (see also 182)

077      Archery

078      Canoeing

079      Cycling

080      Equestrian Events

081      Gymnastics

082      Rowing

083      Shooting

084      Swimming

085      Athletics

086      Weightlifting

087      Basketball

088      Football

089      Handball

090      Hockey

091      Volleyball

092      Yachting

094      Sports Installations and Equipment

095      Sports Administration

096      Sports Directorate Overhead

103      Processing of Competitors’ Files

104      Closed Circuit TV and Sound Systems

107      Telecommunications

108      Electronic Data Processing

109      Results System (SIJO)

110      Planning and Control

112      Results Printing

113      Sponsorship

114      Time and Distance Measuring

115      Temporary Personnel

117      Opening and Closing Ceremonies

120      General Rehearsal (see also 175)

121      Operations Center

123      Posting (Scoreboards)

124      Venue Rental

125      Management (C.O. Roger Rousseau)

126      Depreciation

129      Fringe Benefits

130      Departure Premium (severance pay)

132      Communications Overhead

133      Technology Overhead

134      Protocol Overhead

135      Administration Overhead

136      Services Overhead

137      Olympic Village Overhead

138      Spectator Services Overhead

140      Contingencies

143      Official Ceremonies Overhead

144      Revenue Overhead

145      Construction Overhead

148      Olympic Village Furniture and Equipment

149      Olympic Village Housekeeping

150      Olympic Village Maintenance

151      Olympic Village L.-P.-T.

152      Olympic Village Reception

153      Olympic Village Management

154      Olympic Village Housing

155      Olympic Village Post office, Telephone and Telegraph

156      Olympic Village Sanitation

158      Internal Security

161      Audio-Visual

162      Promotion

164      Press 1976

166      Official Report

169      Signage

170      Decoration

171      Printed Graphics

172      Publicity

173      Photography for Graphics and Design

174      Design

175      International Competitions Montréal 1975

176      Olympic Village Construction Accounting

179      Suppliers

180      Olympic Village Bromont

181      Olympic Village General Management of Construction

182      Heads of Venues


For much of 1973 the Organizing Committee, still a small staff, moved temporarily out of the old courthouse into the annex while the old courthouse was renovated. This was included in a PAP, (038) Office Management. Before the Games came along the most likely fate of the old courthouse had been demolition, but in the circumstances it was worth preserving and still stands today.

The prominent issues as seen in 1973 were still financing, construction, communications, planning and staffing. No one at the outset foresaw problems with the Olympic Village. The people involved at the time manifested extraordinary resolve to make the Games happen, even while they were being clobbered by doubts and slanders in the local press and put off by a minority government tied up in election results and proceeding very gingerly, effectively delaying enabling legislation for those crucial financing programs, for, in addition to everything else, there had been a federal election on October 30, 1972 resulting in a minority Liberal government (41%), and this meant that federal support was tenuous until the next election when the Liberals would win a majority (53%) on July 8, 1974. Nevertheless, people worked hard long hours. Everyone present, it seemed, loved the project, and plenty of applicants wanted to come on board. Reality was often inconsistent with the image received from the press. The staff loved to plan, expecting their plans to be realized, which is what happened. Motivating employees was the least of the Organizing Committee’s problems.

But Planning as a corporate function, it turns out, has a reputation. If you have never seen a forlorn corporate plan in a binder on a dusty shelf, which may or may not be “implementable” but it doesn’t matter because it is ignored and will be ignored forever, even though the employees worked enthusiastically to write it, there are dozens of such plans. A waste of time and money? Not always, because sometimes the process of planning itself has a big payoff, whether an output of that process is a documented plan or not. “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable,” Dwight D. Eisenhower said. And, as Ackoff had said, “Planning is one of the most complex and difficult intellectual activities in which man can engage.” [Note 1 A CONCEPT OF CORPORATE PLANNING. Russell L. Ackoff, Wiley, New York, 1970, P. 99.] And there is another hitch. If you have never seen a top-notch planner in deadly conflict with his or her CEO, there are plenty of those, too. And if you have ever had in your hand the actual Plan document, marked “confidential” of course, and you read it through without dozing off, it must have been one of those rarest plan documents of all, a plan document that can be handed to others, that is, to people who did not intimately participate in writing it. That is rare indeed. Many excellent plans come to nothing because they don’t communicate with the implementers; many plans are so flimsy or inaccurate that if you followed them you would drown. None of this is surprising. It is common knowledge. And, of course, Rousseau knew it. He also knew of plans that worked, and that’s what he demanded. Ackoff had some more wise things to say about planning. “Wisdom is the ability to see the long-run consequences of current actions, the willingness to sacrifice short-run gains for larger long-run benefits, and the ability to control what is controllable and not to fret over what is not. Therefore the essence of wisdom is concern with the future. It is not the type of concern with the future that the fortune teller has; he only tries to predict it. The wise man tries to control it…. Planning is the design of a desired future and of effective ways of bringing it about. It is an instrument that is used by the wise, but not by the wise alone. When conducted by lesser men it often becomes an irrelevant ritual that produces short-run peace of mind, but not the future that is longed for.” [Note 2 A CONCEPT OF CORPORATE PLANNING by Russell Ackoff, Wiley, 1970, p. 99]

By contrast there is another type of plan, the Tom Sawyer plan. Look at Huckleberry Finn. Chapter 34 at the point where Huck is reunited with Tom Sawyer:


Pretty soon Tom says:


“Yes,” I says.

“All right--bring it out.”

“My plan is this,” I says. “We can easy find out if it’s Jim in there. Then get up my canoe tomorrow night, and fetch my raft over from the island. Then the first dark night that comes steal the key out of the old man’s britches after he goes to bed, and shove off down the river on the raft with Jim, hiding daytimes and running nights, the way me and Jim used to do before. Wouldn’t that plan work?”

“Why, cert’nly it would work, like rats a-fighting. But it’s too blame simple; there ain’t nothing to it. What’s the good of a plan that ain’t no more trouble than that? It’s as mild as goosemilk. Why, Huck, it wouldn’t make no more talk than breaking into a soap factory.”

I never said nothing, because I warn’t expecting nothing different; but I knowed mighty well that whenever he got his plan ready it wouldn’t have none of them objections to it.

And it didn’t. He told me what it was, and I see in a minute it was worth fifteen on mine for style, and would make Jim just as free a man as mine would, and maybe get us killed besides. So I was satisfied, and said we would waltz in on it. I needn’t say what it was here, because I knowed it wouldn’t stay the way it was. I knowed he would be changing it around every which way as we went along.”


Even the best plan, like the best opera, has no value on paper. Its only value is in performance. In late April, 1973 Takacs asked, “Who are the people who will make the Games?” With this he earned a few years’ salary.

With that question in mind, here is a thumbnail sketch of some key events in 1973. Every year of Games preparation was a make-or-break year in one way or another, but 1973 was the biggest struggle of a fledgling David, the Organizing Committee, against the Goliath of forces who had their last chance to move the 1976 Games to another city, or cancel them altogether, if they did not feel certain that Montréal would succeed.




1973 was the year of the most important accomplishments. It was the year of becoming the people who would make the Games, the year the Organizing Committee put a stake in the ground and hired most of the key employees. After what it did with difficulty in 1973, the following years 1974 and 1975 would become years when the work could be done. If 1973 had not been the year it was, too much ‘playing it by ear’ would probably have ensued with the result that the Games would have been shabby, incomplete and too expensive, or possibly missed altogether, playing right into the hands of that not inconsiderable constituency of Canadians who, for less than noble reasons, did not want to see another Drapeau success. Other Organizing Committees have been caught in this, or similar, vicious circles. Anyway, everyone who has ever worked on Olympic Games has from time to time brushed up against the overheated tangent of one vicious circle or another.

Montréal’s first breakthrough event was the formal agreement with ABC signed on January 3, 1973. It provided credibility and, more important, working capital. It was a $25 million deal, $6,00,000 to be paid in 1973. Could Montréal have demanded more? Since Moscow signed up $300 million from the Americans four years later, one might, in retrospect, think so, think that, yes, Montréal should have asked for more. But Montréal was getting twice as much as Munich. And after Munich, through no fault of Munich’s, the future of the Games seemed less secure, and Moscow came after Montréal when the world had a new vision of what the Games could be. Not everyone probably agrees with this interpretation.

When Rousseau’s first looked at the short report we prepared for him to deliver to the IOC in Lausanne in February, 1973, he turned pale. There was not a lot of tangible progress to report. The Organizing Committee had observed Munich, signed a Memo of Understanding to ensure that Olympic requirements be included in the City of Montréal’s construction plans, written to the federal government to make an official request for finance-enabling legislation, and signed up ABC as broadcaster in the United States, though the ABC deal was subject to IOC approval. It was a lot, but it was not a startup likely to inspire the IOC’s confidence or spark the interest of the media. They wanted to see architectural monuments taking shape, signed agreements, promotional brochures….

The Organizing Committee and the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) started talking in February, 1973 about the CBC being the host broadcaster. This would turn out to be a fruitful and easy relationship. By July 16, 1973 the Organizing Committee and the CBC had identified the projects needed to work in close cooperation. There were thirteen projects: accommodations, ceremonies, host broadcaster, press accreditation, results system, telecommunications, TV hardware, TV rights, construction coordination, Games schedule, venue management, uniforms, and the dress rehearsal in the summer of 1975. Working together started immediately and went smoothly. The CBC came with all its policies, procedures and staff in place. The CBC only had to justify its budget to get money. The Games were very lucrative for TV broadcasters.




It was clear to Rousseau by early 1973 that the large volume of decisions that had to be made could not be made by the Executive Committee alone – the policy that all commitments above $1,000 required prior Executive Committee approval was made and promulgated July 6, 1973; yet on October 29, 1973, bills for $668,000 which had not received prior Executive Committee approval were presented for payment, raising questions about the nature of control -  and the discussions of the need for a deputy led Rousseau to reconsider this option.

All appointments to senior positions were major decisions, but there may have been no appointment so challenging as the appointment of the Executive Vice President. It meant Rousseau would be empowering a second-in-command to manage the day-by-day operations of the Organizing Committee. What if that person was not up to it? What if he or she did not keep Rousseau adequately informed at all times, or went off in an uncontrolled direction? What if the individual appointed to the job turned out to be corrupt or used the job as a stepping stone to the prime minister’s office? What if that individual did not have the stamina to make it to Game time? And what if that individual was not acceptable to any of the increasing number of the Organizing Committee’s constituents? After all, the Organizing Committee was beginning to hear from and make contact with sponsors, including General Motors and Kodak. The Treasury Board from the federal government, Paul Desrochers from Québec and the Mayor from the City of Montréal all had de facto vetoes, as had James Worrall, the member of the Board of Directors from the IOC and Harold Wright, the member from the COA and IOC. St-Pierre had made his candidature known and was aware of the need to lobby with those constituents, which he did. He found his job as VP Technology and Services less challenging than his role as partner in the consulting firm BST Inc, to which he could return anytime and leave a serious hole in the Organizing Committee. St-Pierre was a tremendous salesman and an inspiring leader (a rassembleur), very popular with the Organizing Committee staff, the IOC and the press, but his appointment as EVP was by no means certain. Rousseau spoke to other candidates, including Austin Page, and asked Howell to draft terms of reference. These were revised several times. Considering how little time was left, he had to be cognizant of the phenomenon that, as Jim Collins notes in his 2001 management blockbuster Good To Great, charismatic outsiders rarely deliver over the long term. St-Pierre was an insider. Typically, insiders combine deep knowledge of the business with an instinctive understanding of corporate culture and a visceral dislike for personal publicity. No doubt Rousseau knew this at the time. [Note ] Warren Bennis, professor of management at the University of Southern California and veteran writer on leadership, believes that outsiders often find it difficult to generate the kind of support they need within companies to push through real change. He says: “Leaders need to carry people with them in order to make the changes they want to make. People coming in from the outside can find it hard to develop a reservoir of goodwill.” [Note ] Though St-Pierre was not an Olympic insider or a good old boy from the city, as Drapeau’s people (with the exceptions of Rousseau and Howell) all were, he was as close to an insider as Rousseau considered. Rousseau knew that St-Pierre was a natural born entrepreneur but had little executive experience. As he said of himself, he was a salesman. He was well-known and had an affinity for visibility. He would rally the troops around him. But he would not be a self-effacing, behind-the-scenes second in command.

Once the appointment was made, it was possible to write and approve job specifications for all the directors general (completed March 5, 1973) and talk turkey about the man-loading schedule of 581 employees projected for the Montréal Organizing Committee, compared to 587 in Munich (as projected fairly accurately on March 7, 1973). There were 83 people on the Committee at that time but few of those directors general. How big a staff would be needed at Game time?

The City of Montréal approved the Olympic Park division within the Department of Public Works in March, 1973 and started excavation of the Olympic Park on April 28, 1973. The contract to replace the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the City of Montréal was sent to provincial and federal governments for review and comment on May 7, 1973. This was done primarily to stay on good terms with these two governments. The City of Montréal confirmed, after discussions with the IOC about “buildings on several smaller pieces of vacant land so that the density of accommodation would be more in conformity with sociology recommendations,” on June 14, 1973 that a single Olympic Village would be constructed at the location proposed to the IOC. Construction of the velodrome began on August 27, 1973. No one thought construction was early, especially not the velodrome, which was the first venue needed - for World Cycling Championships in August, 1974 - but considering all that had been accomplished up to then, it was generally believed that it was too late for the Organizing Committee to exercise meaningful control over construction costs, a position with which some of the Planning staff, such as Jean-Claude Huot, disagreed, but neither he nor Howell was able to be persuasive on the point. Even Québec’s creation of the Olympic “watch dog” CCJO, set up in offices at Place Viger in August 1973, came too late to provide any architectural constraints or make arrangements with the construction unions. CCJO set itself up to control, by which it meant “audit,” five large programs: sports, services, administration, revenue generation and capitalization. However they performed their tasks, they never demanded much time from the Organizing Committee. The Mayor wanted a stadium of a certain kind, it was said, more specifically one with a tower, though the tower was by no means an Olympic requirement, nor was it built at Game time, but he had learned in Expo 67 how to time decisions so that no level of government could confound his wishes. He was cagey, it was said, whether these allegations were true or not.

At the instigation of Dr. Fulton, Howell did a reanalysis of organizational structure to determine where there might be overlapping responsibilities or opportunities for streamlining. (“Gray Areas” resolved, June 4, 1973.) That reanalysis yielded revised statements of objectives for some 150 projects which were all reviewed and vetted by the Executive Committee. One cannot be too cautious in making statements of objectives. Objectives must be defined so that an independent observer can see whether the objective has been achieved or not. It is helpful if the objectives are measurable in financial terms. They have to be realistically achievable. Beware of objectives without benefits or of directives disguised as objectives. When your boss gives you a whimsical objective for next year like “increase market share 20% and profit by 20%,” it might be measurable, but it’s more a directive than an objective. The Project Plan Approval Procedure (PAP) provided the ideal platform for the sort of Delphi Planning that would be the Organizing Committee’s phase of work in 1974. There were a few organizational changes to be considered in that context, among them the creation of a Management Committee to further explode the details of the Plan and the institution of the PAP presented by Howell to the Executive Committee June 29, 1973 and adopted on July 6, 1973, but neither the Management Committee nor the PAP would become operational for five more months.




Under peer pressure to get Communications working, Chantigny took advantage of Québec’s offer to second senior staff to the Organizing Committee. Such an offer can be a double-edged sword, but when you are drowning and someone reaches out a helping hand you grab ahold of it. To make communications work he needed not only to know the marketing objectives, which he did not, but he also had to spend a lot more money than the Organizing Committee was willing to spend on communications without a great deal of persuasion, and that persuasion was tried only halfheartedly by Communications. Michael Porter, the management guru, wrote that there are only two basic types of strategy: high value or low cost. Success for any business starts with a decision about which path to follow. Montréal’s Olympic thinking in 1973 was split along that fault line, aiming for high quality at low cost. Step by step the Organizing Committee would emphasize quality and ignore cost where high priorities were concerned, like sports competitions, but not in 1973. In 1973 they were living on borrowed money, and the Organizing Committee did not know the value of communications, did not know how to justify an appropriate investment in communications.

The Québec communications managers came on board. They were experienced, qualified professionals who found the state of readiness of a supporting infrastructure in the Organizing Committee much less than they were used to in the government but the pace of work much faster. To whom should they turn for support? It was not evident. They showed that Communications included promotion and publicity, two distinct practices. Communications included advertising, which Finance, whose name was changed to Marketing, was working on in its sponsorship program. Communications included information and press and other media relations, the written press being one distinctive constituency, radio and TV two others. Communications included graphics, printing, opinion surveys, public speaking, and more. Communications moved quickly from being too far behind to being too far ahead, but no one was looking after opinion surveys. There was a Québec election on October 29, 1973 in which the Liberals won 102 seats with 55% of the vote and the Parti Québécois won only six seats but over 30% of the vote. Since shortly after the Games on November 15, 1976 the Parti Québécois would win 71 seats and 41% of the vote to the Liberals 26 seats and 34%, there were forces in Québec society that the Organizing Committee needed to know about and address through Communications. But the Communications Division’s style, since the staff were all former advertising people or journalists turned-civil-servant, was out of step with the more technocratic, nose-to-the-grindstone, behind-the-scenes style of the rest of the Committee. They were not persuasive, and the rest of the staff needed persuading. With pressure from both sides - “You’re going too slow; you’re going too fast” - Chantigny got sick. St-Pierre asked Rousseau to put him in charge of Communications in Chantigny’s absence. Chantigny would be alternately on sick leave and back to work until Game time - starting in about mid-July, 1973. St-Pierre had charisma and handled press conferences very well and would continue to do so until his death in January, 1976, but the rest of the work of Communications would not make any valuable progress until the appointment, at the insistence of Paul Desrochers, of Jean Loiselle about a year before the Games, when it was too late to have much impact on the so-so reputation of the Organizing Committee. St-Pierre started to reorganize Communications and reported on August 24, 1973, that it was “very difficult.” Charbonneau noted, on October 26, 1973, that press reports were not very frequent and “strongly emphasized the importance of keeping the public informed.” He suggested that the press be informed in good time of prestigious visitors so that press conferences might be better attended. By the end of the year St-Pierre sent the seconded staff back to the Québec government and replaced them with a second wave of communicators but not before the showdown over the Varna Kiosk.

Varna, Bulgaria, October 5, 1973 was the first Olympic Congress for over forty years. It seemed essential for Montréal to inform the participants at the Congress that Montréal would be ready for the ’76 Games and to invite everyone to come. Five hundred representatives of the world press would be present. The next Olympics would surely be one of the first things on everyone’s mind. The kiosk was identified by the Executive Committee as an “obligation” on July 13, 1973. There was also an IOC General Session immediately prior to (or after) the Congress. It would take three weeks to prepare the Montréal report for that Session. “Translation and literary content must be carefully controlled and supervised, as well as the graphic design and presentation,” said the Executive Committee July 13, “more details will be required regarding the schedule of events, development of venues, and the Olympic Village….” Three days later the Executive Committee acknowledged that Communications would be the most interested Division. There was a sense of urgency.

Some twenty Montréal people would be in Varna, nine of them to operate the kiosk, plus staff from the Canadian Embassy in Belgrade. The details were discussed by the Executive Committee July 20, 1973, a Friday. “The estimated cost of the kiosk in place in Varna was quoted as $109,000 which in all probability would be paid by Kodak of Canada…., [but] because the financial responsibility to be assumed is in excess of the Executive Committee’s authority […] it was agreed to have Mayor Jean Drapeau join the Meeting,” so it is stated in the minutes of that meeting. Drapeau joined the meeting and there was an exhaustive examination and some key findings. For example, it was found to be inconsistent to have a kiosk for over $100,000 and Olympic Games of modest proportions, even though the Organizing Committee’s exposure, after sponsorship, was only $25,000. And what was the purpose of a Montréal kiosk in Varna anyway? Later Drapeau would say, “If you turn on the money faucet you can’t turn it off.” Perhaps he seized the opportunity, being pulled into the middle of the discussion on Varna, to make an example in that case of how not to turn on the money faucet in the first place. Executives who do not like that kind of delegating upward, when they are caught, as Drapeau was in the middle of this discussion, act so as to discourage anyone from delegating up to them again. No one knew how to handle power better than Drapeau.

Communications was asked to remove the points of dissatisfaction and return with a new proposal the following Monday.

Communications made no new proposal, not on Monday, not ever. Instead St-Pierre spoke to Kodak over the weekend about reducing the scope of the kiosk first to approximately $50,000, which was acceptable, and then to $20,000. Time was running out. St-Pierre was appointed Project Leader on July 27. The key employee in Communications, Jean Lenoir, sued the Organizing Committee and left. The suit was settled out of court.




Nevertheless a few bright milestones were reached in 1973 along with some harsh realizations. It fell to the Organizing Committee to produce a complete program for the production and marketing of Olympic coins. This was needed by the Treasury Board to compile supporting documents before Parliament would authorize the minting of Olympic coins. The program for the production and marketing was done in April, 1973, and the Parliament passed the Olympic Act in July, 1973. A “presentation copy” was given solemnly to Rousseau on July 31, 1973 by C.M. Drury, President of the Treasury Board. Revenue of $250 million was expected. A contract was signed with the City of Montréal, based on the MOU of 1972 and adding the terms on which the disposition of any surplus remaining in the Organizing Committee’s accounts would be negotiated with the City of Montréal after the Games and all the Organizing Committee’s Olympic liabilities had been satisfied, and another was signed with the City of Kingston.

Specifications for the results system were made ready by Michel Guay to be sent to vendors and the catering plan for the Olympic Village at an estimated five dollars a day per person was made ready by Yvan Dubois on July 20, 1973. The Graphics Manual was ready by Georges Huel on August 10, 1973, albeit outside the purview of Communications. Rousseau had recorded his regrets on June 11, 1973 that none of the companies retained to assist with graphics were Anglo-Canadian. There was, however, no policy on language in the Organizing Committee other than the IOC policy of both French and English having equal status. It was the Committee’s practice that everyone spoke his or her mother tongue, which would handicap anyone on the staff who was not bilingual. Language was never a problem inside the Committee, but there may have been a need to project both a French and an English image to the Canadian population, as most corporations do when marketing in Canada. That need was never met.

There were also premonitions of challenges to come. How should Protocol deal with visitors from the People’s Republic of China (the mainland, not Taiwan, which is sometimes called the Republic of China), since the People’s Republic had no NOC? XXXX China was a sticky issue that had to be passed on to the IOC and would remain a sore spot right up to Games time, risking a last minute cancellation of the Games.

By June, 1973 the IOC was bombarded by protest letters from “green spaces” enthusiasts in Montréal, who did not want Olympic Facilities to further limit green spaces in the city, and the IOC passed these back to the Organizing Committee. The “green spaces” movement did not affect Olympic plans.

One critical project was not moving fast enough; the Organizing Committee was not determining its or the CBC’s construction requirements fast enough to convey them to the City of Montréal in ample time for Olympic construction to satisfy those requirements [Note July 20, 1973]. On September 4, 1973, after much discussion about what a bad idea it was, whether any person for free was better than having to find money to pay a salary to a fully qualified employee, the Organizing Committee decided, against its own better judgment, to accept the offer of the City of Montréal to lend the services of a civil engineer full-time to head the Construction Directorate in the Sports Division, but the Executive Committee decided instead to have him participate in a Construction Committee collecting construction requirements from all venue users not just Sports. That Construction Committee would report to the Executive Vice President. Almost immediately this would prove to be a bad decision.

Marketing ability was also tested. On July 27, 1973 Snyder revised the estimate of lottery revenue from $32 million down to $24 million. Rousseau refuted his estimate and revised it up to $48 million.

The Organizing Committee’s finances in August, 1973, however, were not encouraging. It was impossible to raise a letter of credit for $900,000 for Kingston unless a group of banks was involved. It seems that when you don’t have much money, you have to work harder for it. The missing link at the end of 1973 was a qualified financial professional in the office of Controller. Yves Morin would soon join the Committee and as the chief financial officer and fill the gap.

More key milestones were accomplished in the third quarter. Tickets for the Games were designed, September 21, 1973. The Doping Control report tabled November 2, 1973 showed that for about $1.5 million 230 anti-doping tests would be conducted each day of the Games.

The idea, later adopted in Athens in 2004, of housing the 6,000 accredited journalists in ships in the harbor was considered but rejected because the ships could not be made secure.

The mandate was given to develop the chart of accounts on September 21, 1973, even before the financial Controller was engaged. The hunt for a Controller took a long time, and this was critical, for as Dr. Fulton of Treasury Board had informed the Organizing Committee on August 8, 1973, before he could expedite the schedule of payments to the Organizing Committee, he needed to see the Organizing Committee’s “cash flow CPM.” This may have been a ruse or it may have been a provision of law C196, but whatever it was, the Organizing Committee had no argument against it. The PAP had to start happening, and the chart of accounts had to be attached to it, and the Controller had to be in place before something that looked like a cash flow CPM could be finished, and only then would Treasury Board release the schedule of payments. This meant more months of struggling along on limited credit.




Several Organizing Committee employees revisited Munich at the end of 1973. The visit revealed a lot. The petroleum crisis was very real: driving private cars in Germany on weekends was prohibited, which highlighted the economic problems of the time. Everyone on the Munich Organizing Committee had moved on to other jobs except the small staff that was writing the official report. Olympic venues were in frequent use. Ordinary folks had taken up residence in the Olympic Village. A few Montréal Organizing Committee employees who had not seen the Munich Games or any other Games had an opportunity to meet Munich Games employees face to face. Those who had not seen Games were at a significant disadvantage compared to those who had. Munich thirty months before the Munich Games had not been much further ahead than Montréal. It was heartening. Only financing and construction were running late.




It is questionable when a writer characterizes the thoughts or aspirations or attitudes of any whole group of people, but one is sympathetic to the temptation to do so, for any one’s view seems to be in the context of a describable, monolithic, mythical view held universally, it is often claimed, by everyone else. In reality there is surely a variety of views, and those views are in flux. There is bound to be confusion. In the case of the Montréal Olympics in 1973, “everyone else,” the whole group of people, the constituency, included the Olympic Organizing Committee with its staff of 83, the world media, some 500,000 prospective competitors, the City of Montréal, Québec, Canada, the NOCs, the ISFs, the IOC, ABC and the CBC. They all had a big stake in Montréal’s success and all needed to be reassured regularly that the Organizing Committee was in control of what was going on, and some began to fear that financing and construction were too slow off the mark. Out of all this came, eventually, a consensus, at least seen from a distance and manifested in the organization’s actions. At the time it looked anarchic, but looking back thirty-two years, here is how the issues of 1973 looked.

First and foremost was the visibility of the Plan. The more elaborate, detailed and intricate the Plan became, the harder it was for anyone to see all of it. How could those arrows and nodes in a NASA PERT network ever come to Olympic Games? New employees and watchdog personnel had a propensity to rediscover math and physics, as it were, to ask if the Committee had ever heard of the IOC’s rulebook or thought of observing the Munich Games. It was the rare employee or observer who spent a day looking at the work that had been done already. They had seen the insinuations in La Presse intended to bring down the Mayor by bringing down his Games. A solid indoctrination program for new employees and contractors would have been a godsend, but part of Communications’ failure was that there was none. It was sink or swim for new staff.

Second, who were those people who were going to make the Games and where would they come from: Manloading?

Third, the Organizing Committee’s decision makers, about ten people out of the 83 on staff, were implicitly prioritizing projects, but those priorities were not always rational. The Communications failure to develop any thrust, or even an informative communiqué, serious as it was, was far less a showstopper than the absence of cash flow or late action on constructing sports venues and the Olympic Village.

Fourth, graphics. Graphics belonged inside Communications, but, maybe because Huel, the chief graphic designer, was seen as “the Mayor’s man,” or maybe because no one saw how Communications in the aggregate was needed to get an adequate payback from Montréal’s investment in the Games, but Huel remained independent. He and his collaborators occupied physical premises away from the old courthouse, and that only reinforced the impression that they occupied a cultural neverland, too, not on the payroll, not on contract, for the Huel contract negotiations went on and on. But good old Huel was a strong personality and worked fast, way out of step with Communications which spent most of 1973 groping for a mandate without finding one and being dismissed at the end of the year. Graphics proceeded apace, with each deliverable coming as an unpleasant surprise at a high price as far as the Executive Committee was concerned. What was needed, of course, was more graphics, better integrated in a real communications plan.

And fifth, purchasing. Since so much money would be expended to suppliers, how would the Committee effect the many crucial controls of the procurement process: define the commodities and services needed, select suppliers, negotiate terms and prices, take action when deliveries were late or not in accordance with the terms of the purchasing agreement, and avoid scandal, especially since administration was being treated as non-essential?

The purchasing issue was important because it would be quite literally criminal to expend so much money without professional control and standard record keeping. The Administration staff was already overloaded buying office equipment, decorating offices, and processing the hiring of staff. The then Director General, Administration spent most of a day himself fitting curtains in St-Pierre’s office, which he did to get in St-Pierre’s good graces; the harder he tried, the more annoyed St-Pierre became. Molière could not have written a more awkward piece of farce himself. Another approach, the idea of adding requirements to the burden of the existing Personnel and Purchasing Departments in the City of Montréal looked even sillier. The city staff were comparatively inflexible and used to working at a pace much slower than the Organizing Committee’s; and quite absurdly, no one offered them additional resources to help with an added Olympic workload. Today one might be inclined to outsource Personnel to a firm that already had the infrastructure and experienced staff to perform the administrative tasks of hiring some 25,000 short-term workers, which is eventually what happened with Personnel, but at that time Administration dreamt of building its own in-house Human Resources and Purchasing Departments. The Executive Committee looked at a very professional, well researched recommendation by Morin Tutsch that an experienced, qualified purchasing manager be hired soon, and one was. In fact, there was a succession of seven purchasing managers, one after the other, none of whom stayed long or got matters under control or, so far as anyone knew, looted the place. Later the purchasing dilemma would be solved in a different way, as shown below.

Whether or not an individual executive has more to do than he or she can handle, executives are tempted to play favorites. For reasons which may be objective but are often personal, an executive gives this matter or that matter more attention. If executives place their emphases badly they risk going bankrupt. But lists of priorities may change from day to day, and it is the rare executive who can give the right amount of attention to a good end at the right time to every priority. With everything the executives had to do on one project or another, even with nothing superfluous in any project, people felt that some things were more essential, others more expendable, and neglected things they did not know how to do like communications or things they overestimated their ability to deal with later like recruiting short-term, or casual, personnel.

Eventually, about the summer of 1973, there was a consensus on four priorities: “Lifeline” (coins, stamps, lottery), “essential” (sports, technology, venue management and construction), “non-essential or recoverable” (administration), and “expendable” (communications and culture). No one foresaw the Olympic Village construction crisis. People were, of course, as wrong about being able to dispense with communications as right about the essential nature of venue management.

But before anything could happen Manloading was the most urgent need. It is an adage of business and warfare that the hardest task of executive management is to find the right person for the job. Montréal was the site of Canada’s largest corporations’ head offices, banks, railroads, the telephone company, the airline and insurance companies, and none of them and none of the consultants who served them had the track record in planning or the interest that would make them good candidates for a project the size and complexity of the Olympic Games, but there were voices in the Organizing Committee’s constituency, especially from CCJO, voices certain that there would be benefits from consultations with all of those corporations. It was not the view of any of the corporations, however, for none of them had much time for such consultations, but the Organizing Committee’s unwillingness to take their advice added to the public’s skepticism. If the Organizing Committee did not have a visible plan, as evidenced by the fact that it would not share its plan with these organizations and invite their critique, it must be in trouble. In Howell’s opinion such “idea sharing and critiquing” would have been a wild goose chase putting the Organizing Committee behind schedule. The Mayor, Rousseau and Paul Desrochers all agreed with him, and the development of the NASA PERT Plan and the search for key employees proceeded apace without a briefing on Planning, not for the public at large, not for the professional planners in the community, not for the press or the IOC or even the Executive Committee. The constituents wished for information that would support their particular contention. Some, like the IOC and the ISFs, wanted to see the tangible milestones that would assure them that everything would be ready on time. Others, like the government, needed to believe that costs would not become an issue, that unpaid bills would not be dropped on their doorstep. While others, like the local press, were impatient to sink their critical jaws into real meat. Before there were any tangible milestones, any financial assurances or any real meat, Planning needed to work out of the limelight.

Since Canada was in the process of adopting the metric system, the Plan was printed in two volumes on A4 paper, a process for which the printing machines had to be recalibrated, all rather uselessly, as it turned out, because Canada only adopted some parts of the metric system and A4 paper is not included to this day. The NASA PERT Plan document rapidly became one of those Plan Documents that sit gathering dust unread. It was not unimplemented, however, due to decisions made at the end of 1973 that effected a quite different style of work in 1974, the use of the “PAP” which made it possible to keep control of fast-track Delphi Planning, a kind of planning and doing in tandem, when those people who would make the Games were at last in place.

But back in 1973 the process was for Planning staff to sort out the work such that each piece of it could be performed by one person with the least possible interfacing with any other person, so that all interfacing was orchestrated to be necessary and done in only one way, i.e., all that minimal but necessary interfacing could be streamlined. Planning defined the objectives. After that, the Planning staff met with the designated Project Leader with a “prompt sheet” and negotiated the terms of the work he or she would carry out with emphasis on dates and resources required but not, in that iteration, financial resources. One critical success factor in the process was that “the prompt” sheet always included the statement of objectives which had been vetted in advance by the Executive Committee, which gave the statement some “teeth.” Three Napoleonic principles were applied, a formidable eye for detail, charismatic leadership (St-Pierre was a genius of charismatic leadership) and the special relationship between the executive and the ordinary soldier, the Project Leader. Napoleonic overreach, however, was avoided. The statements of objectives were mostly governed by ambitious reach tempered by unerring realism, which is the ultimate essential of planning, the ingredient that distinguishes successful plans from failures. People who miss planned objectives often do so because the people who framed those objectives wished for results but were naively overconfident, or their premises were in error, or they hired the wrong Project Leaders. In the case of Olympic Games one knows a lot in advance about what the Games will have to be. At the same time the Plan was to reach as far as possible and be viable no matter how the Organizing Committee was structured. Each Project Leader was to be sufficiently autonomous and expert in performing his or her part of the work that every project should be able to succeed even if all the other projects failed. It should make no difference to whom the Project Leader reported, or even if he or she reported to no one. This suited Rousseau’s notion of the decision-making organization to a T, though he required the staff to keep their dignity and respect for each other, but it was certainly a mysterious, possibly doubtful way to proceed as far as the hoi polloi were concerned. Eventually, there would be about 150 projects and, with turnover, more than 200 Project Leaders, not one who was uncomfortable with this approach. In fact, they welcomed the autonomy and expectation that they would proceed according to their own Plan on time within budget. This seems to be human nature, provided the Project Leaders have confidence in their leaders, which, in the last half of 1973, meant St-Pierre. The detailed cost estimates would be computed in the next phase. In keeping with the principle that only the essential costs would be incurred, it did not matter for the moment what the costs were. All the interfaces were aligned so that every Project Leader would know when to hand the ball over to, or receive it from, another Project Leader would be negotiated. This Plan was completed in October, 1973 and presented in book form to the Executive Committee together with the Project Plan Approval Procedure (PAP) at a breakthrough meeting without minutes on November, 10, 1973. The PAP had been presented to the Executive Committee June 29, 1973, adopted at its regular meeting on July 13, and re-discussed in the Progress Review Group, made up of St-Pierre, Takacs, Morin Tutsch and Howell on August 27, 1973 but still not set into motion.

The decisions that came out of that extraordinary meeting would be recorded in the minutes of the regular Executive Committee meeting on November 13, 1973. All members of the Executive Committee were also Project Leaders and they knew all of the other Project Leaders and they knew all the projects for which no Project Leader had yet been hired. The in depth knowledge about the work to be done, shared by the whole staff, proved critical for the breakneck pace of decision making in the final thirty months. The confidence of the Project Leaders in the PAP became an irresistible groundswell, and though there were still many gaps to fill in, it was from that point that the Committee could say, “No one will stop us.”

Today in business, though we are not much advanced beyond Ackoff’s observation that we do not know how to plan, people would use some software like Microsoft Project, and everyone with a year of work experience would be familiar with it. Using NASA PERT and computers to plan were both new and rare in 1973. Many a construction project, to which PERT and CPM were best suited, went ahead without them. The Organizing Committee was asked to take NASA PERT on faith. And when they saw those two thick volumes of the Olympic Plan on A4 paper, they were frightened. It was too big and too arcane to study, a bit like learning a language from a dictionary but without coaching from a native speaker. Maybe there was no native speaker. And if it was wrong, God help us. Or if it was right, which could be worse, what need was there for the Executive Committee? But even worse than that, the Plan showed that the Games would be ready six months late. Anyway, what good were books? Books didn’t make things happen. People made things happen. What was needed was something more organic, sui generis, something that transcended civil service thinking but would be welcomed by civil servants like CCJO. Interestingly, the Treasury Board staff were as good lateral thinkers as you would find inside any organization, and their vigorous support of the PAP supported Rousseau in his drive for a decision-making instrument, but he did not believe it would work unless his team believed it would work, so they had to be convinced.

Project Leaders were already calling the PAP le pape, but, once again, there is always a gap between adopting a policy and actually implementing it. A few questions resurfaced. How would it work, or would it work at all? And didn’t it add up to a very major shift in authority from the Executive Committee to an unknown quantity of not-yet hired Project Leaders? It did mean that, and that was the crux of the issue. The decision-making organization Rousseau foresaw meant that decision-making needed to be devolved to the lowest appropriate level in the organization. It meant that the Executive Committee would not only have to delegate decision making but also delegate control. That involved risks, which were countermanded by controls only if the Executive Committee trusted the controllers, but at a practical level throughout 1973 the Executive Committee had itself been the only decision maker and the only controller. It was their policy to review every expenditure above $1,000, after all, and they had devoted part of two meetings to the case of a one-month car rental fee of $545 without resolving the matter. They had little else in the way of a reliable yardstick than the Plan to tell them when decisions needed to be made, consequently many agenda items looked like fire fighting. It was a question of the volume of decisions to be made versus who would be empowered to make them, but no Executive Committee could ever have enough time or information to make them all.

The PAP was a two page “agreement” between the Project Leader and the Organizing Committee. Details could be elaborated in appendixes at the Project Leader’s discretion. The PAP agreement stated in a sentence or two for each of several topics exactly what the Project Leader committed to do and the Organizing Committee committed to accept and expect from him or her. The topics were intended to suit the needs of the most typical management personality styles and included a statement of objectives, the one approved by the Executive Committee in the first place and, in a few cases, improved by the Project Leader, a raison d’être, i.e., why the Organizing Committee should fund and do the project, a who’s who, i.e., the project organization chart, the person-loading and unloading schedule, a list of items and quantities to be procured with needed-by dates, and a schedule of about ten milestones per year. The milestones came initially from the NASA PERT Plan. To this would be attached the detailed budget when there was a chart of accounts, and control of each PAP would be exercised by Howell (Planning) and Morin (the Controller).

The November 10th meeting got off to a rocky start. Executive Committee members were of several minds. Things were moving too fast; they had not yet consolidated their own positions, and here was a proposal that they delegate practically everything. Harrumpf! And, in self-conscious irony, considering how few months remained till Game time, things were not moving fast enough. Takacs pointed out that the Plan described the work that had to be done to make the Games. He was very familiar with both the Montréal and Munich Plan Documents, both computerized. Some hundred fifty Project Leaders would be needed to do the work. In today’s dollars that means that on average each Project Leader had a ten million dollar responsibility to carry out in about thirty months. The Executive Committee was already swamped with fund raising, building the Organizing Committee, chasing the City of Montréal on construction and putting out Protocol and Public Relations fires, and that volume of work would not diminish, and it was all necessary. Some of the directors general who had already been hired were asking what they were supposed to do and not feeling satisfied by the answers they were getting.

It was showdown time. Rousseau insisted that a few decisions be made then and there. Either adopt the Plan presented, or reject it and start over. There was no possibility of proceeding without a plan but there was, perhaps, fear of being hemmed in by it. Charbonneau wanted to read the Plan first. Rousseau, not always diplomatic, looked askance. He said that responsible executives would have read it already and known what their own staff had committed to in it, and no one was ready to judge any other part of it. The decision had to be made now. Takacs assured the members that not to adopt the Plan would be a big mistake. There would be pandemonium. Rousseau had probably also read it; he was careful about doing his homework, but he did not say. St-Pierre had read it and had many concerns, not about the content of the Plan, which he liked, but with the ownership of the Plan. Would it be his or Rousseau’s or the Project Leaders’ or Planning’s? (As it turned out, it would belong to the Project Leaders.) The last thing he wanted was for more planning to be done by staff taking authority further out of the hands of the executives. So the Plan, unread by Charbonneau but by the others, was adopted.

What about the PAP? Rousseau asked. Rousseau thought it was an excellent idea, and so did Takacs. Charbonneau, Radford and Snyder were wary, and St-Pierre thought it a very dangerous idea. It was like putting the keys to the kingdom into the hands of riffraff. He did not, however, have a better idea, and he knew that not only Takacs and Rousseau were in favor of it but so were all of the Project Leaders. He wanted one significant adjustment. The Purchasing Department could handle office supplies, magazine subscriptions, petty cash and stuff like that, but the hundreds of millions of dollars to be expended would be handled by the best-qualified responsible individual; no one asked whom he meant. His experience as a top IBM salesman had no doubt brought him head to head with many an obstreperous purchasing department. There would be no requirement to do competitive bidding, in spite of CCJO’s insistence on it, because it took too long and cost too much and “the best qualified responsible individual” could identify the best suppliers without it. If that was the price of implementing the PAP it was worth it, though St-Pierre’s purchasing policy was very risky and certainly set the Organizing Committee and him personally up to suspicion of unfairness and everything else that could go wrong with out-of-control purchasing. It was also at odds with the purchasing procedures he himself had finalized the preceding July 13. The facts that no expenditure could be made that was not part of an authorized PAP and no commitment above $1,000 without prior Executive Committee approval since July 6, 1973 made the worry about purchasing in fact irrelevant, however inelegant St-Pierre’s approach looked at the time. Dropping competitive bidding was a good idea since it was a lot of extra work for eyewash. But where the public is concerned, eyewash counts for a lot, and Olympic purchasing would come under official scrutiny several times in the future, without finding any impropriety.

But Takacs kept up his line of questioning. “Who is going to make all this happen?”

St-Pierre proposed that it was time for a reorganization. The moment was opportune. Rousseau would not object provided the ideas were acceptable to him; organization was his strongest suit. Whether he and St-Pierre had discussed it in advance no one knew. It is likely that they had. But St-Pierre drew a new structure on the whiteboard as if he were making it up as he stood there and as if he would quit if he did not have his way. He was one of the best presenters at IBM. He left the Executive Committee on top but with all the important line managers, all the key directors general, reporting directly to him and himself in charge of the Management Committee. This may have been a costly recommendation for him, for he was to die twenty-five months later at the age of forty-one possibly because of working too hard, but no one expected that on November 10, 1973, of course. One director general would be officially added for Construction, a position to be filled by the unpaid engineer from the City of Montréal. Rousseau had said he wanted no proliferation of committees, but the Executive Committee’s agenda was already full for the next thirty months, and there was thirty-six months’ work to do in that time. So the Management Committee made up of all the directors general plus Howell and Takacs when he wished to be present and chaired by St-Pierre was adopted. Its primary task would be to review and revise each PAP and prepare the detailed budget for Board of Directors’ approval so that the Organizing Committee could start receiving money from coins, stamps and the lottery. Everything that was essential would be done by the Management Committee. Since the Executive Committee would decide whether the budget was ready for presentation to the Board and would approve hiring, they would retain considerable control.

Everyone had negotiated for as much as he or she could get. It is in the culture of organizations to do that. External reality determines the options only in time or to the extent that the members of the organization accept those realities as inevitable forces, but since the organization exists to transform reality, even if only in the tiniest way, the organization cannot afford to be cowed by reality. Only if you have misjudged whether you have the strengths necessary to achieve your goal will you miss it. Here is Ackoff again:


“Wisdom is the ability to see the long-run consequences of current actions, the willingness to sacrifice short-run gains for larger long-run benefits, and the ability to control what is controllable and not to fret over what is not. Therefore the essence of wisdom is concern with the future. It is not the type of concern with the future that the fortune teller has; he only tries to predict it. The wise man tries to control it….

Planning is the design of a desired future and of effective ways of bringing it about. It is an instrument that is used by the wise, but not by the wise alone. When conducted by lesser men it often becomes an irrelevant ritual that produces short-run peace of mind, but not the future that is longed for.” [Note From A CONCEPT OF CORPORATE PLANNING, Russell L. Ackoff, Wiley, 1970, p. 99.]


For all the intricate planning and bold reorganization, the Organizing Committee still misapprehended what it needed to market, namely its modest Olympics with the focus on the competitors, how tough the Committee should have been with the City of Montréal to inspire more common sense and preparation for the after Games use of the Olympic Park, and how much firmer it should have been with the IOC and Lord Killanin in particular to ensure that they were working with equal confidence to a common goal. At the Solemn Opening of the IOC on July 13, 1976 Lord Killanin would say that the first Olympic Congress for over forty years had been held in Varna in 1973 with the motto “Sport for World Peace.” He would say, “The Games at Munich are remembered on the one hand for their human triumphs on the track and in the field, stadia, and competition halls, and the friendship amongst athletes, but also for the tragic events which commenced in the Olympic Village…. As you all realize, the Olympic Movement has suffered and is suffering from politics…. Politics… and money… have unfortunately taken priority in the headlines. This is the time when we should remember that the Olympic Games are about individual athletes and not about politics and money.” If Communications had been more successful and he had been more in accord with Montréal’s image, he would have praised Montréal for making the Games about the athletes and not about politics and money.

Would the PAP solve the problem of how to get the plan out of the dusty books and into the minds of the people who would make the Game?

There are five topics usually included in similar project approval processes that were never in the PAP presented to the Organizing Committee but had been included in earlier iterations in one-on-one discussions between Howell and Fulton, Page, Takacs and Maldonado. They were left out for reasons of expediency.

There was (1) no cost benefit analysis; if there had been priorities might have been more rigorous and long-term marketing benefits from the large investment would have been given more serious consideration. Instead, the Organizing Committee set priorities on the basis of the raison d’être. There was (2) no competitive analysis on the grounds that no one else was staging the Olympics, but there were competing approaches, objective by objective; and it might have improved streamlining if those competing approaches had been compared. (3) No alternatives were considered; the one way in the Plan, with very few exceptions when the Management Committee demanded a better approach, was the way things would be done. And (4) there were no task descriptions with the 1974-equivalent of Hay points for determining salary with the result that salaries were only loosely linked to responsibility, though the job market itself tends to sort out who earns what. Montréal looked to the completion of the Official Report as the end point of the Organizing Committee’s responsibilities, not paying all the debts or (5) ensuring the long-term marketability of the new Olympic venues, assuming that those post-Games responsibilities would be the city’s exclusively.

This is a continuing theme. Here’s what a recent New York Times article says of New York City’s bid for the 2012 Games:

Some of these [Olympic construction] projects would probably be welcomed by their neighborhoods, while others seem a more difficult fit. Still others may prove far more costly to build than anyone now imagines. If the city wins the Games, the armory, the velodrome and the aquatic center would all be part of what Olympic planners describe as the athletic legacy that would remain for all New Yorkers long after the 16 days of Olympic contests are over.

But the legacy of these projects in other Olympic cities is mixed, and skeptics have raised questions about whether some of New York's would become costly white elephants after the Games are over and the athletes have moved on. Would the Bronx velodrome or the Staten Island equestrian center really stay popular after 2012, and would the city be willing to pay for their upkeep?

In Barcelona, Spain, the 1992 Games helped revitalize the city's waterfront, but in Athens, site of the 2004 Olympic Games, the fencing, hockey, softball, kayak and canoeing facilities are silent and empty. Though the soccer stadium in Athens continues to draw competitive teams and large crowds, the roof at the basketball field house leaks and the water at the rowing center in Skoinias has turned brackish and brown. Maintaining the Olympic facilities there could run as high as $100 million a year, according to newspaper reports in Greece and elsewhere.

The situation is only modestly better in Sydney, Australia, where the government spends $46 million a year maintaining the sites of the 2000 Olympic Games. The velodrome and the equestrian and shooting centers require steep subsidies. Even the former Olympic stadium is in dire financial straits, according to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald. And the Olympic mountain bike track in western Sydney has been closed because there were so few users.

"In Athens they built so many facilities that are underutilized today," said Robert A. Baade, a sports economist at Lake Forest College who worked with the Greek government to evaluate the impact of the Games. "It's the same thing in Sydney. The problem is commonplace. I don't know how New York escapes the same sort of fate."

Olympic advocates in New York say they have taken great pains to learn from the mistakes in other cities, and that they plan to preserve sports sites by linking them to sports associations on a lasting basis. Instead of concentrating many of the sites in a single Olympic park outside the city, which often makes them difficult for people to use, planners say they have tried to select disparate locations in the city's five boroughs, hoping to increase the chances that they will be embraced by their neighborhoods after the Games are gone.”

[Note From NYT, June 3, 2005, by CHARLES V. BAGLI, re. NYC’s bid for the 2012 Games]


The Organizing Committee did not express its struggle with reality in 1973 in terms current in 2005, but the Committee was planning in the domain of what today Gary Neilson calls interaction of four key elements, namely, structure, decision rights, motivators and information - “ownership” of PAPs –– with keen response to clients’ needs, though the Organizing Committee lacked a consensus on who the clients were. An organizing committee is a matrix organization, hence its familiarity to the military, where, however, “managers often complain that decision making is slow and the bureaucracy is burdensome” [Note HBR Feb. 2005, P. 20], but the PAP made decision making fast and streamlined.

Adopting the PAP meant distributing decision making, putting trust in people, and measuring people only on their performance day by day not by their stature within a bureaucracy or their appeal to the market, and this raised fear in the Executive Committee of delegating control, but they resolved to be diligent. The PAP and reorganization were welcomed by the Mayor, Paul Desrochers, Rousseau and Takacs, and this showed in a way that force of personality, as pointed out by Maurice Lafontaine of the Treasury Board, is the keystone of leadership. Rousseau needed, in any case, more time than he had day by day just to keep the funding programs moving, to build the Organizing Committee and to attend to the many duties prescribed by Olympic protocol. He needed the Organizing Committee to make the Games without taking up two days per day of his time.


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