President's Message - August 2016

Posted: 31st August 2016, 2:07pm

A true Olympic Legacy - What can businesses learn from Team GB

The last two weeks of Olympic action in Rio have caused sleepless nights right across Great Britain as we have all sought to follow the incredible exploits of our athletes and the amazing number of medals the team were able to achieve. 


Even the most loyal of Team GB supporters may have questioned the ability of the team to raise the bar once more after the team had truly excelled at their home games in London 2012 winning 65 medals which in itself represented a one third improvement on Beijing 2008. However, raise the bar they did coming home with 67 medals, a two medal improvement on London 2012 and with 27 gold medals, only 2 shy of the 29 achieved in that glorious summer of sport.  

London 2012 provided irrefutable evidence that Team GB were on the right track in terms of pre-games preparation and in games delivery but few commentators expected for this position to be improve once more in 2016 with Team GB being the first Olympic team to actually improve on the number of medals won immediately after hosting the Olympics on home turf. 

So how has this been possible? Many have sought to draw parallels between sport and business over the years, seeking to identify the golden nuggets of wisdom which bring with them guaranteed success. Whilst the worlds of business and sport differ in many ways, there are undoubtedly several shared themes which shine through when analysing business and sporting successes of the magnitude achieved by Team GB.  

Firstly, success in the sporting arena or orchestrated from the boardroom is built on meticulous planning and implementation. When operating at the highest level, it is the marginal gains identified through thorough research, analysis and pains-taking testing which provides the platform for success. Secondly, targeted long-term investment is key to sustained success.  

Whilst everyone is naturally drawn to the 67 medals acquired in Rio, it is the significant number of athletes who placed 4 to 8 in Rio who represent the future successes for Team GB in Tokyo 2020. Finally, whether operating a business or seeking sporting success, culture sits at the heart of everything. Sustained success can only be achieved when the culture succeeds in engaging everyone at every level and inspires all stakeholders to come together in the pursuit of a common goal.  It is this inclusive, diverse and inspirational environment which can be found at the core of every successful business and every sporting success. Brutally honest assessment, an open forum for questioning current practices and promoting innovation creates a “no excuses” environment where the controllables are controlled and talent is allowed to flourish and thrive.

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