Well, it’s all over and the general feeling seems to be that GB put on a memorable Olympics that we should all be proud of – the closing ceremony was quirky and a continuation of the celebration of everything British and those that participated in the events or helped to make the Olympics such a success have been praised and thanked. Looks like quite a number of my colleagues have a dose of post-Olympic depression and are suffering withdrawal symptoms.
Apparently, this is the first Olympic Games whose organisers have promised a legacy for the nation. But will it really galvanise a whole generation of children to take part in sport and reduce our high levels of childhood obesity and deliver a new generation of Olympians? Will the East End, my roots, really be renewed and invigorated with thriving local communities and affordable housing? Will British businesses be buzzing with confidence and investment in Great Britain increase so that we see some positive economic growth? I do hope so…Perhaps one of the many positive things about the past couple of weeks is that we have had a brief break from the perpetual doom and gloom of economic news: ‘retail sales down’, ‘manufacturing productivity down’ and ‘UK economy flat-lining’. I did notice a tiny glimmer of positive news this week; the CIPD reported that the private sector is doing a great job holding onto its skilled workers but then, there it was again – the gloomy proviso that unless the UK economy begins to show signs of recovery this quarter, businesses may have no choice but to start laying people off again! So let’s hope that David Cameron is right and the ‘Great’ is once again back in Great Britain and that the pride and engagement that was evident in abundance during the Games will carry us through as a nation to better and more positive times. Let’s also hope that British businesses have learnt that engaged and inspired people can achieve extraordinary things.
I thought I would also share an interesting blog about engagement and the Olympic volunteers in the Harvard Business Review. It discusses why the Olympic volunteers were so key to the success of the games and how they showed us that organisations that create enthusiasm in their workforce do deliver extraordinary things.