Focus on Processes – NOT Medals

It has been fascinating to listen to some of the Olympic athletes talking about the secrets of their success. Many of them report using mantras to trigger actions that have contributed significantly to their success. I am sure that some of these mantras might also produce results in your organisation.

Examples include:

  • ‘keeping it in the boat’
  • ‘focus on the processes and not the medals’ and
  • ‘the aggregation of marginal gains’

‘Keeping it in the boat’ relates very much to recognising those things that we can control that are likely to lead to great results. Focussing on what we can make happen and not worrying too much about what others are doing.’

‘Focus on the processes and not the medals’ is a mantra for at least some of the cyclists – especially the pursuiters. Forget about the medals and the glory – just focus on executing well those things that you know make for great performance.

‘The aggregation of marginal gains’ is another cycling mantra and refers to the significant difference that many small, practical changes can make to performance. While individually each of these changes seems to trivial to make a real difference the net effect leads to a significant improvement.

In some organisaitons you get the feeling that the domninant – if unstated – mantras are:

  • ‘Leave well enough alone’ or
  • ‘No-one ever got the sack for being mediocre’.

Please do share your favourite mantras – Olympic or otherwise.

We might even find a small prize for the best!

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