Process. Process. Process.
It really is that simple. I was recently teaching a business strategy course, and one of the delegates observed that some of the content wasn’t exactly rocket science – he was quite right. Most of business strategy is fairly straightforward. Follow the necessary process steps and let the results take care of themselves. The difficulty usually comes in 'trusting' the process and implementing the steps consistently, without losing momentum or focus.
Business, sport, life goals. It's the same kind of challenge. We all start out with best intentions, but not all of us end up winning medals. So you have to hand it to all the people who have been representing our country at the Commonwealth Games. Not because of the massively clever science that goes in to things like swim stroke technique - though that is pretty awesome - but because winning a medal means consistently following the agreed training steps. Day in, day out. Whether you feel like it or not.
It isn't exciting. It isn't the bit the cameras generally focus on. But if our athletes aren’t committed to carrying out the plan, there is a queue of top talent right behind them waiting to take their place. So they know that if they aren’t putting the effort in at the gym and in the pool, they won’t be in the running for a podium place. And with an impressive 24 medals at the Commonwealth games this year, it’s an approach that is clearly working for this year's swim team.
So what can business take away from this?
Read up on all the clever strategy you like, just make sure you arrive at a clear plan that fits your market and your talent pool.
Make it easy for your whole team to understand the overall plan, and their part in fulfilling it.
Work step by step with your team to begin with - the biggest hurdle to purposeful action is often psychological.
Get people started and momentum will build.
After that, it's all synchronised swimming to the finish line.