What The Olympics Can Teach Us About Business
August 2, 2012 Leave a comment
I am sure many of you have had a week of Olympic excitement. I know over the past seven days, I have enjoyed watching the Opening Ceremonies, experiencing for the first time sports that I did not even know existed, and witnessing some great finishes for the United States to win Gold, Silver, and Bronze.
Throughout all of the games, I reflected on some of the lessons learned in just the first six days of the events and how business can lean from them.
- You will have failures. I have seen athlete after athlete who was supposed to win or place on any given event fail to do so. Whether it was Michael Phelps in the 400 I.M. or Jordyn Wieber in Women’s Gymnastics, who both were not only expected to place but win. This happens in business every day. It might be that you don’t get the contract you were expecting because an unknown competitor had a better price. It could also be a slow sales day because the weather was horrible and you lost more money through expenses and cost than the amount of revenue you had coming in. However, how you react and learn from these are key at improving your business.
- You will have great successes. Although I did not see it, Kim Rhode won Gold in in the Women’s Skeet by setting an Olympic record and tying the world record by hitting 99 of 100 targets. She also became the first woman to win three gold medals in Olympic shooting. In business, you expect to win. It may be landing the sale or having a good sales day. However, someday’s you win big. I mean really big. It’s that proposal that you though you never land, the unexpected referral sale that changes your business, or the huge sales day. Be sure to enjoy those days and celebrate them with your team.
- A good team is better than a great individual. Speaking of teams, I have to go back to the Women’s Gymnastics. Now this is normally a sport I don’t watch. It is just not an interest I have. But I have been drawn into it this year. Now the team is made up of very good athletes. However, they all needed to rely on each other to win the Gold. Your business is the same way. When you win, the whole team wins. Be sure to celebrate that! Also, make sure that it is not just a departmental thing. I have worked for organizations that the departments were like silos; only worried about themselves. This leads to distrust between the departments that are supposed to have the same goal of success for the whole organization.
- Be aware of your social media presence. Now I know this does not come from the athletes directly. However, if you look at the Twitter hashtag #NBCfail, you will literally find tons of tweets about how NBC has done a poor job about broadcasting results on prime-time before they show the actual events. Whether or not NBC is watching it themselves, you need to be aware of how your business is being represented on social media. This is know as Online Reputation Management (ORM). First, be sure to make sure you have your name on all the major social media formats (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Yelp). After that, make sure you deal with negative comments appropriately.
What have you learned about improving you business through what you have experienced watching the Olympics? I would like to hear what think.
–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their market and customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your market and customer needs, email him at email@example.com.