Marvellous Games in a Marvellous City…
The 2016 Olympic Games has been heralded as a huge success in general and in particular for Team GB. Our tally of 67 medals putting us in second position in the medal table is an incredible achievement.
Some detractors have questioned Team GB’s success and are wondering why there has been such a significant increase in our medal haul since our rather paltry 15 medals in the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. The reasons are simple – funding has increased exponentially. This funding is targeted strategically, not only to where there is the best likelihood of medals (so playing to our strengths), but to those sports men and women who have either achieved an outstanding level of performance or even more importantly, are capable of producing it in the future. The funding works on an 8 year cycle so the vision is for long term gain, ensuring that for many years to come Team GB will be bring home the medals.
In essence the summary of Team GB’s success is in my view best defined by that ancient Huna Life Principle: ‘Energy flows where attention goes’. Attention has been paid to those sports people who have either got demonstrated or potential talent – the attention has come in the form of money, time, coaching and support to ensure these athletes are able to compete at their peak.
During the Olympics many blogs and papers have been written about the learnings we can take from the race for medals in Rio and apply to the business world. The big learning for me is that we should apply the same approach to our talent within our business and companies as the Olympian strategists have done to develop their athletes. We should give our emerging talent and leaders attention in terms of opportunities, development, coaching, mentoring and ensure that the right people are doing the right jobs. Avoiding the destructive ‘square hole, round peg’ mentality is crucial. Let’s play to our ‘people strengths’ and ensure commercial success for years to come.
Thankfully the UK government are declaring that this approach is best and that they will adopt the same approach to backing excellence. Greg Clark, the business and energy secretary recently said that world class skills and training would be available to ensure we keep a competitive edge and that the government would ensure they are ‘the champions for the talent of tomorrow’.
So there are many lessons to learn from our athletes incredible success and the overall strategy of Team GB that we can apply into our business lives to ensure we bring home our own corporate gold medals.