Getting your teams to perform like Olympic athletes

by Nicholas Skillicorn

If you want to get your team to perform like Olympic athletes, consider asking this question:

Will it make the boat go faster?

Below you’ll find my exclusive interview with Ben Hunt-Davis and Sarah Winckless about how teams can consider “Will it make the boat go faster?”



While I was working with Team GB on the London 2012 Olympics, I had the pleasure of working alongside a number of inspirational sportspeople, including some who had won medals at previous games. You learn a lot about what it takes to perform at the highest possible level; individually, as a team and when you’re responsible for the results of multiple teams. The lessons these athletes learned are just as applicable to business.

Will it make the boat go faster?

I had the opportunity to sit down again at the British Olympic headquarters with Ben Hunt-Davis and Sarah Winckless, who now work with businesses on how they can get their people to perform at the optimum level, and doing the work which is actually going to be valuable to the company. Both of them have won Olympic medals in rowing for Great Britain, but neither of them had an easy journey to get there. They needed to consider what they were doing and why they weren’t necessarily getting the results they needed. Eventually they realised they needed to challenge their teams to look at the work they’re doing and asking “Will it make the boat go faster?”

Check out the video above to learn how your own staff can focus their efforts on achieving its ultimate goals.

If you’d like to find out more about what “Will it make the Boat go faster?”, you can find out more at http://www.willitmaketheboatgofaster.com/

If you liked this article, let us know in the comments.


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Nick SkillicornNick Skillicorn is an Innovation consultant and Creativity coach in London. Find out what Improvides can do for your organisation, and get your free copy of his new book The Secrets of ongoing Innovation Success.

No comments

  1. Could have been a great topic, but the poor sound makes it so difficult to stay in the moment, I dropped it after two minutes. Maybe next time use individual microphones (lavalier, whatever) and a basic mixer – it’s REALLY worth the effort.

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