A Lesson In Moving Forward

1976 will be remembered as one of Australia’s worst performing years at the Summer Olympics. The country won one silver and four bronze medals in 20 sporting events, whilst New Zealand walked away with two gold medals in athletics and field hockey. Australia had 180 competitors. We had 87. Apparently the Australian Prime Minister at the time, Malcolm Fraser, was booed by athletes at the Olympic Village who felt that they had not received the support they deserved. Fast forward to the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Australia won a total of 58 medals, 16 of which were gold. In Athens 2004, they bagged 17 gold and in Beijing 2008, 15 gold.
This transformation in national athletic performance has been largely credited to the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS); an organization founded by the determination to move past failure and focus on becoming a leader in sports science and technology. The Institute looks at improving the very last detail so that a split-second difference can be turned into national Olympic glory.

When we talk about ‘Fail fast, learn fast, fix fast’ the emphasis of the whole equation is really what happens at the end. You need to fix the issue to make a difference. Without change there is only repetition. Whether you walk, run – or drive, if you’re on the same path you’ll get to the same destination. Fixing a problem to go back to where you started is not the aim of the game. I’m talking about progressing, not regressing. In a world where sport and business can be won by a single point or a split second it’s about seeing how we can stay ahead of our competition. It’s about winning.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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