So Team GB’s gold rush is well and truly underway with 16 Gold medals now in the bag! Team GB have an ambitious target of 48 medals for the London 2012 Games. Beijing was the best result ever for the country, with 19 Gold medals won. But the ambitions are now even higher!
It wasn’t always this way for British sport. The low point in Atlanta 1996, saw Team GB bring home just the one Gold medal. No-one thought it was good enough, and things had to change…!
As with any kind of change, it wasn’t easy and it has taken a long time to bring to fruition. But the investment in time, effort and money that UK Sport has put in to improve the national team’s performance will have all been worth it, if Team GB bring home their greatest haul of medals in the year the country hosts the Games! What a boost to the country that would bring!
But how has this change come about?
Remember the old adage about peanuts and monkeys? Well if we didn’t invest in our athletes then how on earth could we expect them to be world beaters? We were asking them to compete against nations who provided both the facilities and coaches to their athletes to allow them to perform at their best. The same goes for business. If you don’t invest in your staff, why would you expect them to be able to perform well against your competitors?
Team GB started identifying talent, and managing them through from junior ranks to senior. This kind of succession planning, meant that the team wasn’t relying on one or two people, but that they build strength in depth which increased the success of the team. Employers can look to adopt their own succession planning – who has the potential and ability to develop further in your organisation? If you don’t spot and develop this talent, you could risk your competitors taking it from you!
No matter how much ability you have, without a good coach to help unlock this you will find it so hard to perform at your best. Coaches can see the things that you don’t see, their constructive criticism will help you focus on your areas of weakness and turn these into strengths. The best managers in the workplace are like the best coaches – they know how to get the best out of their staff.
It’s one thing to have a super star in your team – the one who seems to be able to achieve the unachievable, and carry the rest of your team to greatness. But what happens when they get injured? Or retire? The team will naturally suffer from this. A team that supports each other and drives each other on to bigger and better things is a stronger team, than one that relies on just one person. It’s been striking to see this teamwork in action amongst the British team in the London Games – they are always cheering on their team mates both in person and via Twitter, whether they compete in the same sport or not. They take joy in each other’s performance, and will spur each other on. This encouragement from their team has led to better performances from individuals we may never have heard of. There are few people who really thrive in an unsupportive atmosphere, so develop a good team spirit and watch your performance grow!
Team GB and the nation have high expectations of our athletes in this year’s Games. And rightly so. There is nothing wrong with being ambitious, and believing in your ability. Businesses should be equally bold and ambitious. If you invest in your team you can manage any change that your organisation needs to deal with.
In 16 years Team GB has gone from 36th in the medal table to currently laying 3rd. It’s not been easy, and a lot of hard work has gone into making this change. But the rewards will hopefully be well worth the effort.
We wish all the very best to Team GB and think they are an inspiration not just to individuals, but to any business who wants to transform their performance!
Go Team GB!!
If you’d like to know how Investors in People can help you manage change in your organisation please click here to talk to someone who can work with you.