Working with rivals
So after years of preparation, planning and team work the Olympics is in full swing.
Throughout the next two weeks the world will witness tremendous acts of courage and team work as well as individual pain, success, and in some cases, immense disappointment.
This extends from the spectacular Opening Ceremony which saw 10,000 people, many of them volunteers, working together to put on an impressive welcome to the world, through to the ultimate competition on the track or in the arena, such as Great Britain’s gymnasts defying the odds to win the first team medal in their sport in 100 years.
But it’s not always compatriots that need to work together in the quest for gold, as Mark Cavendish and the GB cycling team found out to their cost.
The cycling road race is different in many ways to the majority of events taking place across London, and indeed the UK (including just down the road from Acua Limited at the City of Coventry Stadium!).
For the sheer intensity of the 250k race requires cyclists to share the work load at the front of the pack. But unlike in the Tour de France, Cavendish only had four support riders to help pace him to the end and within striking distance of the finish line, not eight.
Rivals from Germany and Australia, would ideally have shared the work load and helped their own sprinters dash for the finish line. The only problem for Cavendish and his team mates was they all knew Team GB’s plan and were desperate to avoid a sprint.
So as it happened Team GB struggled to keep the near 150 field together and a group broke away early and left their main man medal-less.
Encounters and situations where rivals have to work together occur pretty much every day in the work place, be it a business development provider like ourselves accrediting people development programmes led by other parties, or firms working jointly on mergers and acquisitions.
Unlike the road race, all parties have to put their rivalries to one side and pull in the same direction to ensure the management of projects is efficient and successful.
And although there is not always a gold medal at the end of a project or a deal, the prize of success and repeat business can be worth far more to a company. And the prize to the individuals involved can be much greater – the pride, increased esteem and buzz that come from having performed well and delivered a winning result can motivate a team to even greater performance.