"Inspire a generation" was the motto of the London 2012 Olympics, the essence of the Olympic values - unity, friendship, progress, harmony. Reflecting on this spectacular time four years ago, I was fortunate enough to receive a contract to work for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and even managed to attend the Closing Ceremony, busting moves to my childhood heroes The Spice Girls and Annie Lennox.
During that summer, the atmosphere was electric; pubs were spilling out with people cheering on Team GB, employees watching on their TV screens during their breaks and everyone doing anything possible to get Olympic and Paralympic tickets in their hands. It seemed everyone and anyone was excited, harmonious and united. Throughout these few weeks, London itself had transformed, people actually spoke to each other on the tube, everyone was upbeat, really excited about cheering on Great Britain and it was a fun time to be living in the capital.
Four years later, the predicted doom and gloom of Brexit, high house prices locking six million into renting, continuing Syria chaos, on-going terrorist attacks and the general dreadfulness we get inundated with on a daily basis, I’m not feeling particularly ‘inspired’. We need a ‘pick me up’ to get us out of our slump. Similarly, on 6th May 1954, Roger Bannister, became the first man to run a mile in under four minutes and injected a booster shot into Britain's flagging but still flickering morale after World War II1. Could the colourful vibe of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games be just the golden ticket we need to inspire a nation?
Usain Bolt has got the right attitude and has tweeted himself radiating colourfulness with a silhouette of himself in a swirl of sunny colours that make up the Rio 2016 Look of the Games.
I think that sport unites people together, helps build comradery and provides inspiration to the workplace. Not only have a couple of our very own Olympians disappeared off to Brazil to commentate but 4 new screens have just arrived at the office ready for some prime viewing (and internal comms of course!). We’ll all be watching and supporting Team GB!
So team up with colleagues, build some rapport and join in on the fun whilst routing for Rio 2016. The Games is the perfect opportunity to engage employees within your organisation and enhance team performance. Perhaps you can even set yourselves a team goal and work towards it as the Olympics and Paralympics count down.
This could be the small stepping stone we need to bring unity, friendship, positivity, progress and harmony to the workplace and beyond, that I felt 4 years ago.
1BBC FOUR: Roger Bannister: Everest on the Track