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Bidding, Business

What Business can learn from British Olympic cycling

Plainly the Team GB cycling team is at the top of its game.
The lessons are obvious. One of our core beliefs is that preparation is everything.
If you have heard them talk about how they focus in on every detail, down to having a specific pillow so that athletes always sleep in the same posture, you will have been impressed.
But also you will, because you are probably not an elite athlete, have been slightly unsettled by the degree of control that the system has over the athletes lives, and the incredible self-control they must display to fit in with the life.

So what can we all learn?

I think the people who designed the programme were well aware that the human being was overwhelmingly the greatest variable in the outcome. In the past there may have been genuine step changes in the kit. Do we all remember Chris Boardman’s bike?
But when the French started wittering on about the British wheels it was politely pointed out they were made in France.
So the equipment isn’t it. It’s us. The bag of bones and chemicals that sits in the saddle. There’s the biggest variable.

To remove as many of the variables from the variable they have created a climate where everything matters. Can you imagine how you would feel if the coaches had spent a lot of time worrying about your pillow and then you went out and had 4 pints and a curry?

I would last less than a minute in the cycling set-up.

But I do like to work where expectations are very high.

I like to work where there is  a clear plan.

Where the people in charge have taken trouble to make sure I have the right training, the right tools and the right people.

Where my bosses set the same high standards for themselves as they set for me.

Where hard work is expected without asking.

Where I think others are on the same track so I can trust them.

Where it is expected that the final result is always excellent.

But also I like to work for people who, when they lose, look very carefully to see what they can learn from the loss, but say, “Ah well. That’s racing.”


About gristpresent

Presentation, Q&A and Engagement Coach. We help you win more business. Also BAFTA-winning film maker. See our new site www.grist.co.uk


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