Do you worry your competitors?

Dear {subscriber_first_name}

You may have been too busy to enjoy the sport from the London 2012 games, but if you did see the cycling action in the Velodrome you’re sure to have noticed some very un-British performances from the GB team – amazingly, they’ve been dominating in almost all events! In fact, British track cyclists won nearly 80% of the races they started and collected seven out of the ten gold medals on offer.

You might say that this performance is down to the size of the team’s budget, however, while it is true that the British have a bigger budget than most, it is also true that they use their money extremely well.

“It’s hard to explain what makes the team so special,” Chris Hoy, the six-time Olympic gold medallist says. “It’s all of it, the science, the training, the coaches, but most of all we point the mirror at ourselves and ask ‘how can we get better?’”

In order to improve, the cycling team adopt a relentlessly systematic approach, looking at every possible aspect of the cyclist and machine in the pursuit of “marginal gains” – itself a major paradigm shift in the world of cycling. In addition, they are prepared to learn from other areas.

Chris Boardman, a former cycling gold medallist who has been integral to British Cycling’s quest to develop cutting-edge equipment and clothing, says that the greatest technological advances come when people from outside cycling are consulted. “Whenever I go out into industry, whatever it is, I ask what the last big change was and how did it come about. It usually comes from someone who came in from the outside and has a combination of expertise in their field and ignorance of the limitations of the new field”.

The competition have clearly been rattled. Some have accused the British of using “special wheels” while others have hurriedly copied noteworthy innovations brought to the Olympics such as the special “hot pants” which the team have used to maintain muscle temperature between cycling bouts.

The thing that has really got the opposition worried is that even after two highly successful Olympic campaigns, there is no arrogance at British Cycling; they know they can still do even better and they are willing to learn from others to do so.

So what does all this mean for the rest of us? In my view there are directly transferable lessons which apply to all our businesses:
Do you constantly challenge the way you do things now? Are you seeking out fresh insights related to your products and processes? Are you prepared to learn from people outside of your industry, from people who might already have the solution to your biggest issue?

We can help you gain important new insights to help you target the technology areas where you really need breakthroughs and connect you to ready-made solutions to create a step-change in your industry. We can work with you to build your innovation capabilities so you too can become unstoppable. In short, we can help you to put fear into the hearts of your competitors.

Click here to find out how we do it