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What Can We Learn From Team GB?
by Peter Fleming

If you Dream Big in business the chances are you will put in discretionary effort to change the way you and your business works and your aspirations may well come true. 

After an impressive performance over the last few weeks, Team GB have managed to secure second place in this year’s Rio Olympics. Finishing ahead of China with 67 medals, they certainly have punched above their weight. 

So what can we learn from this sporting success and apply to our businesses to ensure we beat the competition, secure extra revenue, work efficiently and make ourselves more successful?

If you have been listening to the post event interviews, there is a common theme and vocabulary used by the winning athletes “we came with a belief, we had a plan, we followed the process, specific training programme, committed, best support team, coaches, trainers, nutritionists, the best equipment and training facilities, pride, leadership, we all shared the same objectives and it was very much about team work”. Not one GB athlete said winning was down to them as an individual and they all went out of their way to thank the support team coaches behind them and their families.

So how do you embed this as a culture within your business and engage your support team – employees?

1. Ensure that you set a goal or aspiration and relate the outcome to your personal gain – be that more holidays, more time with the family, a holiday home, skiing trip with friends, a yacht or even a new car. These are your Gold medals!

2. Put a number on it! i.e. an extra holiday say £3,000 or a holiday home £200,000 and set a time scale, 1 year, 10 years to achieve this goal. (S.M.A.R.T. objectives)

3. Visualise it by having a picture on the office wall, fridge door, or screen saver on your phone or computer. This will remind you why you are going through any pain, whilst adapting and developing your business! The next task is to get your business working for you! I.e. get buy in and the best support team around you.

4. Create a Plan. Determine what activities or actions need to take place to increase sales, productivity and/or gain efficiency and be realistic. These actions should result in increased net profit to allow you to realise your personal aspirations.

5. Break the activities down into sizeable chunks, say by months over a 12 month period and plot on a financial forecast model. A good tip is to stretch this monetary target! i.e. stick 10-20% on to the figure you need – as the competition is likely to be doing the same exercise!

6. Share your plan and the high level monetary goal of where you want the business to be with your employees. This helps create a purpose – and instils the reason why we come to work and why we do what we do!

7. Ask for their ideas, for their support and this should create engagement resulting in discretionary effort.

8. Continually communicate, giving feedback, regularly hold team updates, 1-2-1s and appraisals, developing your employees

9. Employ the best people you can find where you have competence and capability gaps – ensure they match your values and fit your team culture, as ultimately you will only succeed and deliver your goals through your people. You can’t do it on your own.

10. Finally – share the spills of success through incentives and rewards – not just financially but by just simply saying thank you, face to face.

Why? because “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”.

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