The Power of Performance Management – what business can learn from British Cycling

Everyone in the GB cycling team wants to be world class in their role.’ – Sir Chris Hoy

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have been completely engrossed by the stories of success from the Rio Olympics – individual brilliance, team defiance, hero after hero – 4 years of blood, sweat and tears leading to one shot at glory. 

And so many in Team GB took their one shot, grabbed their gold, silver or bronze, and are now basking in the glory of public acclaim – so many firsts, so many doubles, so many medals – from Max Whitlock to Mo Farah, from Nicola Adams to Nick Skelton, and for me as a hockey player, the girls who should never have beaten the mighty Dutch…but did!

The success of the cycling team though was truly amazing, with every member of the team coming home with a medal, and it epitomises what Team GB has been all about.

Destination: Olympic Gold

That’s their Vision, that’s where they’re headed, and they plan their route map accordingly. A great example to any business of the levels of performance that can be achieved through planning + process, when coupled with a high performing team who have bought into your vision.

Dave Brailsford, (of Team Sky), introduced these high levels of performance management to cycling, with a determination to be constantly ahead of the game, he focused in on the smallest details, raising the bar in both training and execution, encouraging the wider team to look for these tiny marginal gains that would make the difference between a Gold and Silver medal.

No one in this team sees themselves as ‘just a mechanic’, ‘just a physio’, ‘just a logistics manager’. Each recognises that they are a vital cog in the overall system and they are as focused on those medals as Bradley Wiggins or Laura Trott.

As Sir Chris Hoy so eloquently put it, ‘Everyone in the GB cycling team wants to be world class in their role’. And when they win, they bask with the cyclists in that gold medal glory.

How many of your people celebrate as if it were their name above the door? How many see their role as even connected to a Customer let alone responsible for Customer service? Have you ever found yourself apologising for a ‘less glamorous’ job you’ve asked someone to do rather than explaining its importance to the team as a whole?

Do you adopt Team GB’s approach in your business?

Staying fully focused on your big Vision; putting every process in your operation under the microscope, examining every step to see how you can improve performance; never dismissing anything as too small for your attention; engaging your whole team in the idea of ‘marginal gains’.

British cycling doesn’t wait for trends to change, it leads the way; it’s pioneering. They won’t spend too long celebrating their great achievements in Rio, their attention will soon be turning to Tokyo – looking to raise the bar again, fully focused on Destination Gold.

Do one thing: ask yourself , ‘Am I really clear about my destination, and fully focused on it? Is everything I do every day aimed at improving performance to reach that destination? What do I need to do differently?

[If you want to learn more about developing a high performance business, then join us at one of our practical, interactive workshops. Click here to read participants’ comments and to sign up. NB limited places left for 15th September]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.