“Anything is possible. It’s just hard work and grafting”. I was inspired by Mo Farah as he breathlessly declared this after his 5,000m triumph during London 2012. Farah said, there is "no way to describe" becoming a double Olympic champion. Unquestionably, Team GB, draped in patriotic red, white and blue, outshone the gold that glittered with the sweat of honest brows. As the Olympic flame was quenched, the national conversation sparked into life. Topics like funding, school sports, opportunity, and legacy veiled a yearning undefined; quite simply, ‘how can we keep this going?’
London 2012 was a bravura performance on a global stage. Olympism apart, I’m left reflecting on our own company’s performance and wondering what it would take for us to ‘up our game’. A timely review of our business objectives and targets seems a good starting place.
Pertinent key performance indicators would help us track performance and stop us valuing what we measure rather than measuring what we value. A ‘dashboard’ view of our performance across the business on any given day would help us make informed decisions about quality, sustainability, H&S, social/ethical responsibilities, staff morale and customer relations.
As I recall the Olympic core values - excellence, friendship and respect - the reality is our business performance could be better in these and other areas. It seems appropriate to gauge my own performance. I recall one business commentator’s point about how late starts, long lunches and late-night shifts hand an advantage to the competition. The finishing line appears distant when I scrutinise our performance; how many fresh business opportunities have we created this year, how fast can we adapt to a fast-changing business world, how high our business aspirations and how focussed are we on where it is we want to go?
For me, gold at Rio remains an impossible dream yet my focus is still on winning. Performance enhancing substances may be banned in sport, but in business, performance enhancing tools aren’t. KPIs would allow me to spot trends, resolve problems sooner and recognise opportunities. Get set!
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