Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Beijing 2008

A couple of weeks before Beijing 2008 I had the pleasure of attending a seminar given by Prof. Steve Haake of Sheffield Hallam University about Newton, Physics and Sports Science. It was one of the few events I have been to where the whole audience would have happily stayed twice as long.

During the presentation he talked about work his Sports Engineering Group had carried out for Team GB cycling ahead of Beijing 2008. Without giving too much away, he told us that every single aspect of the bikes had been studied - and to demonstrate it showed us graphics of the calculated airflow over the nuts holding the peddles onto the bikes.

The value of this phenomenal level of detail in preparation was demonstrated as the cycling team romped to 6 Gold medals out of 10 during the Olympics.

It made me think about what we in business could learn from this attention to creating the environment in which our team members can perform - and know that there is no excuse for not performing to the highest level. I suspect that very few companies could claim to do much more than getting of their employees way, rather than actually giving them all the tools to do the job and resolving any problems getting in their way.

Food for thought...