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The Performance Perspectives Blog: If you're an athlete, your body is a business
Delaney Turner 270002T14M firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  cognos business_intelligence
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There's a simple reason why business and sports are so closely linked.
If you're an athlete, your body is the business; your sport is the market, the podium your target.
You spend years developing yourself physically and psychologically to withstand the rigors of competition. You invest in the best equipment to level the playing field. You study the competition to find flaws in their strategy and weaknesses in their approach. You anticipate their moves and build a game plan that plays to your strengths.
The other reason for the parallel is that in both business and in sports, there are so many different ways to lose.
It may be a simple failure to execute. The wrong strategy. A new competitor that no one expected. Miscommunication among teammates. Sometimes it's a bad decision. Over the past 17 days we've seen athletes fall short by the narrowest of margins. For slider Melissa Hollingsworth, who slid head-first down the skeleton track at more than 120 km/hour, the difference between the podium and a heartbreaking fifth-place finish was less than a foot. In other events, the difference between gold and a fourth place finish was less than one tenth of a second.
If you're measuring your market share or profit growth in equally narrow increments, no doubt you can relate.
Never before has business been so driven by numbers. Never before has business and athletic performance alike been in under such scrutiny. Canada made the decision to Own the Podium and won a record-setting number of gold medals. In contrast, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev yesterday ordered Olympic officials to quit or be fired and demanded drastic changes to training procedures. "Those responsible should take the brave decision and sign a letter (of resignation)," Medvedev said in televised comments. "If they can't we will help them."
You've hired the best people. You've built a winning strategy. You've invested in the right IT. Are you performing like you expected?
If not, you might want to give IBM Cognos software a closer look.
If you want to hear how close these finishes really were, check out his fascinating audio trea
I never did get around to reading this fully, but Slate ran an interesting article on an economist's attempt to predict the Olympic medal count based on economics. Further evidence of our data-driven age. Turns out he only predicted five Canadian golds, not a record-setting 14, so the model might not be ready just quite yet.