The fabulous BBC review of what has been an outstanding sporting year has reminded me that in business and especially in safety, we can apply many of the same principles that are used so effectively in sport to improve performance. Let’s look at some of the key themes of the night. Everybody from Bradley Wiggins to Lord Coe recognised that their wonderful world class performance could only have been achieved with the support of a whole team behind them. I like to think that their team would have been filling in any holes in the Swiss Cheese for them at key moments throughout their training to ensure that they stayed on course for success.
Our Olympic Year
There was Victoria Pendleton and Andy Murray who had a mix of BAD moments before the GOOD. They needed to alter some performance critical attitudes and habits before they got things right. They certainly had to feel the NICs before the PICs otherwise their attitude might not have changed so effectively. Victoria’s sports psychiatrist (Dr Steve Phillips) also used some very effective sub-conscious triggers (change of hair style and scent) to further remind her of what she was capable of doing every time she got on that bike!
There was also the refreshing fact that most of those who achieved great things were not really driven by money or any great financial incentives, they did it because they WANTED to and were PROUD to rather than feeling that they HAD to.
Finally, there were the new great leaders, the brilliantly innovative Dave Brailsford and Lord Coe. Brailsford has applied every little thing to enhance performance to the highest level. He understands the principles of creating a winning culture and the fact that the way people think, feel and then act are all intrinsically linked. Lord Coe drove things from the very top some 7 or 8 years ago by convincing the world that he BELIEVED that London would be a great host city. How did he do that? Well, just like Simon Sinek, he started with the WHY and then engaged those all important 6 Emotional Needs just like Jose Mourinho.
Some of you who have attended my courses or heard me speak will know exactly how we can apply exactly the same principles in safety to help create a World Class safety culture too. As the great Dave Brailsford calls it “The aggregation of marginal gains” and “Our wheels are more rounder than theirs”.