The Olympics are upon us in Sochi, Russia, and the energy and dedication of all athletes is quite extraordinary. As we watch the competitions unfold, we have favorites and dark horses, the splendor of victory and that “agony of defeat”. The playing field is level, where each participant, whether from Jamaica or Greece, Finland or Australia, has an opportunity to demonstrate their skill and grace. Naturally, we also have the heavy hitters with the US and host country, Russia, so there are always political implications, as well, when we get to the medal count. But, it is still the competition which holds our hearts and attention.
I am sure many of us wonder how to embrace the spirit of the Olympics in our various business endeavors. Most of the athletes are young, but they are supported by coaches, trainers and sponsors. Perhaps, our company demographics have a similar mix, as we nurture upcoming talent. What do we have in place to develop that cadre of our future?
It starts with the culture, what we say we are and how we demonstrate that with our Brand message. Do we continually strive for excellence, are our products and services constantly under review for quality and seamless delivery, do we listen and respond to our customers, and how do we treat our employees, who ultimately are our ambassadors, much like Team USA.
Next, we must provide the tools to empower our talent. They have the inner drive, and we must help them unleash that potential. Business is not as usual! Many of us had to “pay our dues”, be patient and hope to be discovered. In today’s environment, our talent are like “1099’ers”, contractors, ready to move every two to four years, if they see no future and only barriers to their growth. They are our athletes in training. It is up to us to encourage them, challenge them and make sure they have the tools they need to develop and advance.
Lastly, we need to have well defined goals. The Olympic team faced numerous qualifiers to make the squad. We understand the dedication, time and effort to make the elite. Up to this month, that was the goal for the athletes. Now, they want to compete and earn a medal, the ultimate reward. We in business tend to focus primarily on the financials. Perhaps, if we move more towards the qualitative, such as Customer Satisfaction with our Experience, we will find a new source of dedication from our Team, as they focus upon that excellence. What a wonderful time to invoke the spirit of the Games within our organizations! Just harken to that young mogul skier, who wrecked her knee during a practice run last week. Out of the competition, she worried that she was no longer an Olympian. But, she was and is and even participated in the march of nations on crutches and later a wheelchair. That’s what it is all about. Don’t settle for less!
John Hendrie is the author of the LRA blog 'A Guy Walks In'. LRA is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability. We have built a range of quality assurance, mystery shopping, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so.
Today, we are a growing company operating in more than 120 countries throughout the world, servicing our clients from offices and resources in the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific regions and helping clients such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the National Football League, Avis Budget Group, Madison Square Garden, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group deliver exceptional customer experiences. Every touch. Every time. For more information, visit www.LRAworldwide.com.
Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.