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Rio 2016: Questions for emulating 2012 success pt2


With the Olympics over and the Paralympics still on, Clive Hook concludes his advice for the organisers of the events in four years' time.
For the Rio 2016 Olympic Committee, the countdown to the Games has finally started. How the team delivers value to key stakeholders in the 2016 Games will be interesting to watch. It'll be especially interesting for corporate team leaders to compare and contrast the way they develop their own teams as they hunt for increased performance and success.
In Part 1 of this article we looked at how traditional views of a high performing team are outdated. Today, teams are highly successful and productive groups of people when they are seen to deliver value to their customers and stakeholders. It's not what they do it's how they are perceived that's important.
The best are being constantly challenged with a few key questions that focus on the inner workings of the team as well as their impact on the external environment of customers, sponsors and stakeholders. To deliver success, what kind of questions does the Rio 2016 Olympic Committee need to be asking itself?

How will our committee's structure and organisation enable us to deliver 2016 success?

The Rio 2016 committee team will no doubt be concerned how it appears in the press over the next four years. 'Organised' and 'in control' are words that the team will want the outside world to use to describe its performance. Teams can spend all their time trying to appear organised (firefighting chaos) without actually addressing the issues that are preventing them being in control.
Top tip: Recheck that systems, structures and processes are still relevant. If the team is using energy dealing with broken or out-of-date working methods it will fail to deliver sooner or later.

En route to the Games, how are members of our 2016 Rio team supporting each other?

Without team cohesion and internal support, the cracks will start to appear. With members of the team having personal deadlines all the way up to 2016, the leadership's vital role will be to assess where team members are getting too involved in their own success and not remembering the shared objective – to deliver an engaging, inclusive and memorable experience for everyone involved which reflects the Olympic values.
Top tip: As team leader, take time out to establish the team is working for each other not against each other. Where is there evidence of missed handovers, lost information or unnecessary delays between functions?

Over the next four years, how will the Rio 2016 team use experience to deliver results?

The team that sits around the meeting room table today will not be the team that turns up to the opening ceremony in 2016. Right now there are lessons from London 2012 which must be grabbed while they're hot, but the Rio team must also accept that the learning journey is never over. The team members' experience and knowledge picked up along the way will be vital to delivering a successful Games in 2016 and beyond.
Top tip: Make continuous learning an agenda item at every team meeting. Ask what have we learned that will help us deliver better value? Use customer, sponsor and stakeholder feedback to rethink how you work and how you keep engaged.
By asking these insightful questions any team can re-focus on how effective the inner workings of the team truly are. Is there the right level of support, structure and flexibility to be a high performing team? The only way to find out is by asking questions that trigger intelligent conversations. These, in turn, will lead to the team seeing the full picture and delivering the value expected of them.
Download the full whitepaper High Performing Teams: Six Vital Questions to Ensure Team Success at

Clive Hook is programme director at ClearWorth. ClearWorth designs, develops and delivers bespoke in-company training and development programmes for managers, leaders and teams in organisations around the world

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