Special feature: Dedicated support helped medal haul

“Without dedicated support this would not have happened.” So said Sir Chris Hoy. Similar testimonies were heard from the GB swimmers, our rowers and equestrian teams and Mo Farah confirmed that without a significant change in his support team and taking a massive leap of faith in moving to the States he would have struggled to have made the final let alone win two gold medals. He did not make the final in Beijing 2008

In 1996 in Atlanta Team GB won only 1 gold (and a paltry 8 silver and 6 bronze) and it was accepted that as a result of no long term plans being in place amongst the individual sports teams our chances at the next two Olympics would be limited. It did not happen overnight but our cyclists and others committed to the investment that bore fruit in Beijing and exceeded all our expectations.

It is no coincidence that it was not until the team was honest enough to admit their failings and perhaps even their arrogance that plans started to take shape that have delivered such success at London 2012.

All the successful teams are on record as saying that without the recruitment of additional dedicated talent that was focused on the team objective and could see the deficiencies of the athletes and the administration, 65 medals would have remained a dream and many of the athletes would never have been heard of again.

Well it is no different in business. 2012 is likely to be the Atlanta for many SME’s and unless they assess the reasons why they have under achieved and instigate plans that will deliver the gold then they also run the risk of being the forgotten ones.

Every day I see businesses across many sectors burying their heads in the sand and refusing to acknowledge that to succeed they need to recruit specialist support to improve the performance of their existing team.

Too few businesses know enough about their competition and have poor support in getting their proposition fit for the fight (race etc) that they go to the starting line with limited hope of finishing the race let alone picking up the big prize.

To be a winner, looking over your shoulder at the trailing competition, a business needs to be fit, well prepared, have all the necessary support in place and most importantly know where it is going after the victory celebrations and how it will need to improve to be a winner again.

Team GB is already planning for Brazil they will not rest on their laurels and will be the first to admit that they will need more support to maintain their competitive advantage... I hope that SME’s (who after all are the team GB of our business community) take a lead from our successful athletes, take that leap of faith and invest in their own gold medal campaign.

If you can see unfulfilled potential in any SME’s you know who could be winners, who need a new trainer or physio or even that vital guy who changes the tyre when punctured, it would be good to hear their story.

I love working with ‘wannabe’ winners.