With the Rio Olympics going on the world in watching and there is one question on their minds: How are the Brits doing it? This is due to Britain being 2nd in the medal table (at time of writing) and with 3 days left it looks like a set place. Now some say that 2nd place is 1st loser but considering Great Britain and Northern Ireland have exceeded their predicted target and looking to end up higher than they were 4 years ago on home turf I think that’s a pretty impressive achievement. And not to sound bitter but over 50% of the USA’s medals are from swimming, so for 2020 we just need to hope Katie Ledecky & Michael Phelps retire and we’ll be set.
Now there are many reasons that can be attributed to Team GB’s success, and I’m sure they’ll thoroughly be reviewed post-Rio, but what no one can deny is the significant rise in Team GB in the medal tables of the past Olympics. 10th at Sydney 2000 & Athens 2004, 4th at Beijing 2008, 3rd at London 2012 and now predicted to be 2nd at Rio 2016; that is some rapid progression that has put Team GB in a place that it can face off against the three super powers of the world.
One thing I truly find amazing about the Olympics is its power to inspire. I am a competitive fencer myself and I was astounded to see how many people took up fencing after London 2012. I also couldn’t hide my excitement to see Richard Kruse fight for GB’s first fencing medal in 52 years on BBC 1, despite him not winning it I loved the media coverage my rather unconventional sport was receiving. The Olympics are an inspiring sceptical that has the potential to have such a positive impact.
This of course does put into perspective your own life, and I don’t necessarily mean how slow Usain Bolt makes you feel. More in regards to how successful you as an individual have been as well as your company/industry has been in regards to progression and innovation. The CiPD found that a third of employees are disappointed with their career progression and it always seems that the Big Change is just around the corner but never comes. This could be attributed to so many things; loss of focus on making change happen, being happy with the small amount of progress that has occurred or worse, thinking that the change is impossible.
Continuous development is key in an industry like HR but it can sometimes can be difficult to identify if any traction is being made as there is never a completed job as may have been the past. What would be needed to be done is to set some flags in the sand and establish what progression is, definitions and goals are required in order to both aspire and to monitor achievement. After Athens 2004’s 10th result and finding out that London would host by 2005 Team GB then had a goal and put into drive that competitive spirit. Whether that meant funding, getting the right equipment or bringing in renowned coaches. To make a parallel comparison the HR industry wants to figure out where it wants to be in 5 years and get the technology, people and process in place to achieve that. If people got on board with an effective plan, have the resources to support them and believed in the goal then HR would be standing on the top of the podium of the business world in no time.