What corporates can learn from London 2012

My take-out from London 2012: inspire

Inspiration. This word appeared everywhere in London 2012. Broadcasters, pundits, commentators, writers, bloggers, friends have used this word. It was said that the aim was to inspire a future generation but truthfully I think it was much to inspire all of us to reach out, think then act big and bold in what are the toughest economic circumstances for almost 100 years.

If a measure of the success of London 2012 was how many people played back that word, inspire, then that alone would make the Games an enormous success.

So for the organisers of London, some of the key aspects of the solution were:

The support of thousands of well-briefed, engaged, well-branded volunteers who provided about the best service that I have received from any organisation in many year. AND THEY DID IT FOR FREE.

An opening event staged by a master story teller that drew back to the roots of Britain to create a compelling story about our lives today.

Investment in innovation and training to build a team of British athletes that likes of which we have not seen for around 100 years.

The full multi-media engagement of a national broadcasting corporation delivering (on the whole) exceptional content with the participation of credible experts who (often – especially if their name was Michael Johnson and Ian Thorpe) gave us insights that we could not hope to have gleaned by ourselves.

A willingness to disrupt established logistics, systems, processes, routines to achieve the common end of the Games – accompanied by pretty good communications in advance so people knew what to expect and could cope with the impact of these changes on their day to day lives.

Showcasing of the best that the surroundings – London – have to offer in terms of landmarks and attractions. The route of the marathon is surely one of the most extraordinary tourist destinations in any city in the world.

Leadership from a single-minded individual with a strong vision. Let’s face it – Sebastian Coe is not a uniformly popular individual and many have questioned his motives, but he was an astoundingly good leader for London 2012 and he did what it took to deliver an exceptional Games.

Any lessons here for corporates?

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