INSPIRING A SERVICE LEGACY
When the opportunity arose to go to the London Olympics I just had to take it. I wanted to see “the greatest show on earth” up close and experience for myself whether it really lived up to the billing. Sure enough the atmosphere was fantastic - thousands of happy faces exploring a magnificent Olympic Park.
The cynic might suggest that having gone through the bemusing ticket allocation process and subsequent financial hardship, one would expect the lucky few to be making damn sure they enjoyed themselves, regardless. It’s a very British trait to make the best of any situation. But this would be quite unfair. The buzz was real, the enthusiasm genuine. And this was felt most palpably in the brilliant Games Makers.
Such was their impact it’s rather clichéd to be praising them still; they’ve had eulogies from all and sundry - they even had a special “thank you” in the closing ceremony.
But if the 2012 Olympics was one of legacy, how we can inspire a generation with a new breed of Games Makers? How can we encapsulate that service spirit in more everyday engagements - because we shouldn’t have to wait every four years to experience it again.
What made the Games Makers different? From what I saw, they were knowledgeable, they were passionate about what they did, they wanted to be there, they were proactive and they knew they had just one chance to make a great impression.
For me, the most interesting part is that Games Makers were volunteers. And yet they applied themselves to the task with all the diligence and enthusiasm of someone being paid a fortune to do so.
Quite possibly the Olympics is a false two-week bubble and had they been there as paid employees, tasked with the same thing for over three years, we might have seen a different attitude emerge.
Certainly it’s the Holy Grail for businesses to have a workforce living these positive attributes – especially for service organisations. It’s a tough, but not impossible. Disney’s ‘Cast Members’ on family holidays to Florida is the closest I’ve experienced.
But what’s your experience? Which brands have you enjoyed consistently high levels of enthusiasm and application? What makes the difference? And are we resting too much optimism that the attitude forged at the Olympics is one we can see replicated consistently across British business?