Competitive spirit from Rio engenders new opportunities in many businesses.
This year’s Rio Olympic Games and the Para-Olympics, where Team GB were major medal winners, have led me to ask if these successes can be a blueprint for other areas of business and commercial activity.
What are our sporting teams doing differently than in the past? One fact is clear. Selected sports are receiving greater funding. But that in my opinion is only one reason. Some of my research has shown that our teams are making the best use of their available resources. This has created what I would like to call a ‘culture of success’.
Looking around our Chamber membership and across the business arenas in Burton and District, I can see that this approach has been closely mirrored. However, I don’t think that all these businesses are necessarily all big sports fans.
My findings are that these companies find out what success looks like for their business in their sector. This actually isn’t the same for every organisation. With this understanding of what success looks like, they then build the right culture, again for their business. I spotted this as a clear pattern when I was carrying out my research.
The ability of these businesses to motivate their staff to succeed is tantamount to being legendary. I think that’s one reason why these businesses stand out. What I really admire is their ability to develop a clear vision for their business.
Not just a me-too statement about being ‘the best at delivering so and so’. But, a real vision which enables their business to stand apart. Then, they effectively operate to that vision which helps to explain how they achieve their continued success.
Continued improvement is reflected in their ‘aggregation of marginal gains’ where no detail is too small or insignificant. This is defined as achieving a one per cent improvement in everything that you do. When these actions are ‘aggregated’, they deliver a remarkable overall achievement and this has led to significant gains.
There are stories going around that some Olympic team competitors even take their own pillows to ensure a good night’s rest before their events. Translating that minor detail into your business could start you thinking about just what you might focus on to achieve important marginal improvements.
What I particularly admire in these initiatives is that they can involve all the staff of a company. A wide range of contributions and involvement is central to achieving success and maintaining it across business.
It was just this type of achievement and business success that was recognised in this year’s Burton Mail Business Awards, held again at Pirelli Stadium in October.
The standard of the entries was higher than ever, reflecting the drive and innovation in East Staffordshire’s business and commercial communities. Congratulations to all the award winners, and to all the finalists, on again making these awards memorable.
They really highlight what is being achieved locally and just how businesses plan to expand, continue to remain competitive, and create new opportunities. Each year the bar is set higher than 12-months previously; and the Awards’ Judges continue to be amazed at what is being achieved.
The Awards, now a recognised part of our annual business calendar, really do serve to inspire businesses from the new start-up to the established SME. Previous winners have gone on to take major regional and national awards.
I recommend that businesses should look to promote themselves by entering awards and thus creating enhanced awareness of their products and services. It is a worthwhile investment in time and effort. It can help to focus your attention on the key points for your business; not just for the awards, but for your continued success and profitable operation.
I welcome feedback and comment on this column and the work and activities of the Chamber. You can contact me at [email protected]
President of Burton and District Chamber of Commerce
Managing Director, Yee Group Limited