As a world class business coach I suppose it is only to be expected that I would be able to learn some lessons from the gathering of the world’s elite sportspeople that takes place every four years. It could provide content for months and months to come but don’t worry I am not going to milk it.
The thing that has resonated with me most of all this year, thanks to the excellent coverage on BBC is not the dedication of the sportsmen and women, although that is exceptional, but the dedication that is required from everyone associated with the individual competitor. As the families and friend of these elite sportspeople have been interviewed what has struck me, more than the fact that the individual has had to practice and train sometime up to three times a day, but that their mum or dad or gran or partner has had to take them to the training venue three times a day including Christmas day for many, many years.
It is very unusual and difficult for anyone to scale the heights of excellence in anything without a very supportive and equally dedicated ecosystem. That ecosystem is not restricted to the immediate family but extends to the sports support system. Business owners and leaders owe it to themselves to be familiar with the philosophy of marginal gains that British Cycling has championed for the last decade.
Every medal winner and competitor at the elite level now has a number of specific coaches; personal, fitness, discipline, as well as nutritionists, sports psychologists, secretaries, planners and press officers who allow them to be at their very best when the time is right, proving that even the individual victories are actually the result of a carefully choreographed team effort.
So I am left wondering a couple of things. How good, how fit for purpose is the ecosystem and supporting team that you have created? Will it get you where you are determined to go?
If UK PLC were as interested in business as Sport GB have been interested in Olympic success and they could create an ecosystem and an infrastructure, in the same way as Sport GB have, what could we achieve together in the next few years?