Five Takeaways From the London Olympics

July 27, 2012

Tonight’s opening ceremony, “The Isles of Wonder,” marks the beginning of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The quadrennial sporting event captivates the world’s attention for its display of athletic prowess. But in between watching synchronized diving and pole vaulting, HR leaders can glean important management lessons from the London Games.

Sharon Daniels, CEO at AchieveGlobal, a performance improvement company, and Rick Lash, a director in leadership and talent at the Hay Group, a global management consulting firm, identified takeaways from the decade-long production process before the start of the Olympics as well as motivational and coaching strategies that directly apply to workplace scenarios.

Manage long-term planning. From the initial bid to the actual games, organization of the Olympics is a 10-year-long process. Successful leaders of such long-term projects are able to see the forest through the trees. While these types of projects can be plagued by minor hiccups, HR professionals should focus on the big picture and meeting clearly defined deadlines.

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