No doubt there are some lessons to be learned about capitalising on commercial opportunities, but whether or not they did make money as a result of the Games, a more valuable post-event assessment might be for businesses to look at what can be learned from the way London 2012 was planned, promoted and executed, and how it will be remembered in years to come.
The Devil’s in the Detail – Aside from a last minute security glitch, ably handled by the troops, the two weeks of competition ran smoothly and seamlessly, and that was down to meticulous planning, which began long before London was officially awarded the 2012 Games.
Good planning should be at the heart of any business strategy, from start up to exit, but more importantly, a business plan should be revisited on a regular basis and amended where necessary to ensure that it is on track to deliver.
Competition is Good – It brings out the best in people, makes them more determined, and pushes them to their limit in return for the reward of the win, and it has exactly the same effect on businesses.
In a competitive marketplace companies have to stay sharp, flexible, cost conscious and focused on delivering value for money. And that keeps customers happy, engaged and coming back for more.
Invest in People – Compare Team GB’s 2012 29 gold medals, with the single one it won in Atlanta 1996, and the benefits of investment, much of it from the National Lottery, are obvious, with a massively improved sports infrastructure; the coaching, support, and facilities, playing a key role in delivering those medal winning performances.
Employers should do the same and invest in the training and development, career prospects, and health and wellbeing of their most valuable assets, their people, to boost motivation and engagement, and ultimately, productivity.
Go for Gold – No athlete enters a competition hoping to come second, but neither do they expect to win without a great deal of preparation and hard work.
Business owners should have their eye on the prize; whether it’s a lucrative contract or an opportunity to expand overseas; invest time in careful preparation, take expert advice, and make sure that the business in the best shape it can be before making a move.
A Lasting Legacy – The ethos of London 2012 is about inspiring a new generation, and the challenge of getting more youngsters to not only take up sport, but to stick with it, has just begun. It will involve social responsibility on a massive scale.
Whether they sponsor local sports clubs, donate cash to charities, or support local schools, entrepreneurs and small business owners have plenty of opportunities to contribute to the legacy of London 2012, be more socially responsible, and create a lasting legacy of their own.