At 12:49 on Wednesday 6 July 2005, I was travelling in Staffordshire to a training venue listening for the imminent announcement of who was going to ‘win’ the Olympic Games for 2012. Now, I’m not a big sports fanatic but I couldn’t help but join in very excitedly with a big ‘WHOOP WHOOP!’ as Jacque Rogge made the announcement ….. LONDON.
Seven years later and it’s nearly here and Olympic fever has begun. But along with the kudos comes chaos. Now we’re hearing about all the disruption the Games are going to create. It’s already started with Olympic organisers creating an Olympic route network meaning roadworks.
With the disruption to day to day business with journeys to work affected, higher than usual annual leave requests, pressures on transport systems and road networks, the advice given in the ‘preparing your business for the games‘ LOC publication to businesses is:
Millions of additional trips are expected on public transport and the road network in London and the UK … This could potentially disrupt your employees’ journeys, business travel, deliveries/collections, and the operations of suppliers, other contractors and freight. To keep your businesses running, you should aim to reduce the need to travel and make essential journeys at less busy times or by using different modes or routes.
Over the past few months several delegates on my courses have talked about their organisations being encouraged to allow staff to work from home where they’re not needed to be in the office/building.
Of course, this doesn’t just mean problems for day to day working but also day to day training/learning. Fortunately, if key people in these organisations are on the ball, they will see there is a way around some of this disruption. Where live conversations are needed to take place, whether it’s to discuss on ongoing project or as part of a planned training course, we have the technology. We’ve been communicating via e-mail for years. The concept of collaborating remotely is not new but we’ve yet to embrace the live online environment. Perhaps it’s the fear of the unknown. Perhaps it’s bad experiences of them in the past. But now – and I mean now and not in a few months time as an afterthought – is the time to make the most of the technology at our fingertips and start working (and learning) smarter. If we start investigating as soon as possible how best to engage our live online participants (audience is too passive a word), we’ll be on the winning team by a long shot.
We certainly do have an Olympic opportunity.