Rio has been a fantastic success for team GB, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching the ‘gold rush’ from multiple events while trying to work out what on earth the Keirin and that little motorbike is all about!
The transformation of team GB from the bottom end of the medal table in 1996 to the top end this year has been a long journey and a journey that some might find surprising to learn started with John Major…..
Following what was a disaster in 1996, when team GB came back from Atlanta with only 1 gold medal, the conservative government at the time made the decision to utilise lottery funding to support elite sports development.
So funding over the past 20 years has increased dramatically. From £60m before Sydney in 2000, to just under £280m for Rio. But investment alone does not ensure success.
A complete change in culture was required, and a shift in mindset that took our athletes away from a historic ‘good effort for trying’ to a more driven expectation to be the best.
What was previously done in a very haphazard, confused, and uncoordinated manner, was now given direction. New leadership was employed, athletes were empowered to make decisions. A culture of responsibility and accountability was developed for athletes and coaches alike.
With an established vision, a strategy could be implemented on how to achieve their stated goals and this new money could be invested accordingly to support their achievement.
With every Olympics since 1996, team GB has reviewed their performance, considered what their goal is for the next Olympics, and again developed a strategy to achieve these goals. Each new plan has been costed and the required investment identified to achieve the goals.
We also shouldn’t forget that success breeds success. People are inspired by what they saw at previous Olympic games, are energised to get involved, to push themselves further and to try and achieve similar if not greater goals than their idols. Do we in construction inspire a drive and passion in the current workforce never mind the next generation?
How does this compare to construction?
How many construction companies have such a considered long term vision? How many have long term goals? And if they have these two ingredients how many have a strategy for its implementation, and then provide the investment behind it to make the vision a reality?
Is our industry too risk adverse to invest in something that might happen in 4 years? What we can learn from this Olympics, and the success that team GB have seen is that with the right vision, the correct goals and the right strategy, the investment risk can be greatly reduced.
The point I am trying to make is that our industry can learn a lot from the mindset in sport. Too often we do not take the time to take a step back, think about where we want our organisation to be, and develop the vision, mission and strategy required to achieve it.
This mindset will be explored at this years annual conference, which will look to explore what our industry can learn from sport, and inspire our industry to look past mediocrity and drive forward to excellence.
For further information and to register your interest in attending the conference visit the event page here.
Ben Pritchard is a consultant at Invennt ltd and former co-chair of G4C.