September 13, 2012 - Comments Off on Why marketers can learn a thing or two from the Olympics

Why marketers can learn a thing or two from the Olympics

Image by Tony Edwards

Our chairman, Brian Wadsworth, laments the end of the Games by discussing what we can learn from the determination, humility and passion of the Olympic and Paralympic athletes:

Before the start of this ‘Summer of Sport’, the Olympics was certainly not on my agenda; too ‘London’ and ‘Corporate’ for me to be bothered with. By the end, I was in awe of those who took part – both athletes and volunteers, and inspired to consider how I could harness such dedication and enthusiasm and what legacy has the Olympics left for our sector?

The Games were a welcome distraction from the gloom spouted by media, politicians, economists and financiers alike. All of it too ‘traditional’, too boring and lacking in intelligence and innovation.

Now that it’s over, I thought the emotional intensity, along with the success generated by the British Olympians and Paralympians deserved reflection in terms of the lasting impressions and lessons learned from these ‘games’….. lest we forget and slip back into negative mindsets.

The lasting impressions for me are:

a)       The sheer determination, focus, sacrifice and guts that all athletes demonstrated in their battle against like-minded competitors. Highlighting what it takes to both compete and win.

b)       Win or lose, the humility shown by all athletes; particularly those fortunate enough to have won, in immediately sharing their success with their team support. Highlighting the power of teamship.

c)       How ‘ordinary’ people passionately commit themselves to a clear objective in order to overcome great challenges and achieve extraordinary feats.

d)       The overall feeling of fun that was generated by competitors and volunteers alike; but this only comes after sacrifice and a great deal of hard work.

None of this is rocket science but when harnessed and aligned as it was here, it becomes truly powerful and life changing.

Fundamentally for me, the real lesson was one of understanding the power of ‘who dares to believe’; a motto we can apply in all forms of life and business. We MUST exude the passion to dare to stretch, push boundaries, continuously learn, innovate and ultimately achieve great things and this is something that is closely aligned with the Bloom concept of digital discovery.

Our industry is at the forefront of leading significant business change; technological and attitudinal as well as its key processes. We must innovate, we must be bold and determined, we must understand the power of teamship. In order to do all of these things we must appreciate that it takes applied passion and hard work to make such necessary change a reality.

If we ‘ordinary’ folk dare to do this and keep our focus, we will succeed and thereby enjoy the journey to success.

Finally, I cannot finish this blog without mention of the incredible Paralympians from all nations. What an inspiration and how humble I feel in considering the enormous hurdles they overcame to achieve the success of even competing; let alone winning. AND … how ignorant it made me feel regarding my former attitude of noting their disability above their abilities. It made me aware of my own disability in being ‘blind’ to the positive as opposed to the negative. A lesson I truly hope I will never forget.

How will you remember and be inspired to dare to believe?