After Bradley Wiggins’ amazing victory in the Tour de France the Olympics were set up for his team mate, the world’s greatest sprinter, Mark Cavendish to open the games with a gold for Team GB.
He was the pre-race favourite, it was a victory that was assumed by all to be virtually guaranteed, so what went wrong?
Photo used under Creative Commons from Josh Hallett – http://www.flickr.com/photos/hyku/
Team GB’s aim had been to set Cavendish up in a good position in the leading pack to enable him to use his trademark sprint to the finish to take gold. When a group of riders broke away and opened up a gap it changed the race and unfortunately Team GB had no Plan B.
Former Olympic champion Chris Boardman says: “Britain had a plan and it was a good plan. It had worked for them before and it will work again in the future. The problem was that everyone knew what it was – to get Cavendish to The Mall for a sprint finish.”
Having a single plan, no matter how great or successful it is, will always give your competitors something they can plan to beat. Unpredictability and flexibility are as crucial in business as they are in sports, make your great plans but have alternatives and be prepared to adapt your plan.
Winning an Olympic gold medal is a big deal, it is an extraordinary goal, and in business you also need to think big and have those grand goals.
As British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford says: “If you want to win big, you’ve got to be prepared to lose big. On this occasion, it was a big loss, but if you’re not willing to put yourself at risk in that sense then there’s no point being in this kind of arena.”
By Steve Cook, Editor – Seeker News