Nick Eve: Life after 2012

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London 2012 is not even a year away, but thoughts are turning to what happens after the Olympics. Nick Eve, chief executive of Pumphouse, asks will there be life after the Games and urges marketing budgets not to be exhausted…

A few days ago the Government launched a task force – one that aims to kick-start growth by boosting productivity. According to Prime Minister David Cameron, the task force is bringing together two of his top priorities, to deliver sustainable growth across the UK and to focus on new approaches to help people improve their well-being. Their spotlight is on employee motivation as well as workforce morale, which is at a low.

Little wonder really, the world seems to have been assailed by economic disasters followed by natural disasters, causing further economic hardship. Being motivated is quite challenging right now. Or is it?

Strange how silver linings do really happen, sometimes to the darkest of clouds. In this instance the silver lining(s)
is the imminent Olympics. Amidst the doom and gloom they stand out like a beacon of energy. They are better than any Government task force, no matter how worthy or well meaning.

Having just returned from some of the most powerful and energetic corporate events we have worked on yet, it is safe to say that the Olympics will be a hard act to follow but one that needs to be harnessed, not just for now and through 2012, but on-going into the following year.

Be part of something big

With less than 500 days to go now the energy generated in the run up is simply spectacular and everyone involved, even those on the fringes are already feeling the buzz, the enthusiasm and the motivation.

If ever we were looking for a perfect example of engagement, the Olympics are just that, the epitome of an event that has all the emotional cues to make us feel we are part of something huge and exciting. Within those corporations that are actively taking part, be it at sponsorship level or beyond, all woes over the economy, Libya and the natural disasters are taking a back seat. The sheer energy generated by the Olympics is creating a positive magnetic charge of its very own.

As companies gear up to take their part in the run-up and the actual event, there needs to be a real sense of doing this for the long-term, of thinking through the strategies to extend beyond 2012.

Right now the focus is very much on the short-term, letting the long-term take care of itself – frankly we have found something to cheer us up and we are not about to worry about what happens afterwards. There are many schools of thought, of course, which would agree that there is indeed no point in fretting over something that has not yet happened. But equally there needs to be a greater sense of perspective, otherwise 2013 will be a barren year indeed.

Launch platform

We should be focusing on 2013 to ensure it is not “the year after the Olympics”, but rather, the year when things continued growing, building on what the Olympics have achieved, using 2012 as a platform from which to re-launch ourselves.

There is a concern that because of all the euphoria marketing and communication budgets may be exhausted in the pursuit of the Olympic dream and in 2013 companies will have nothing left in their piggy banks for the continuation of programmes. It will be the day after the New Year’s Eve party!

We should be taking a leaf out of how the Olympics make us feel and shift this over the blueprint of 2013, just to see what strands we can start pulling out, what sparks of inspiration we can hone into, what reasons we could have for re-creating similar vibrancy. If we keep our aims high, if we give ourselves – at a corporate level – something to get excited about, then teams will continue to pull together and enjoy developing new strategies and reaching for new horizons. We certainly should not be expecting to fall back into gloom; we should be gearing ourselves up to maintain that feeling of elation.

What we choose to celebrate, be it the revival of Japan, the end of tyranny or those famous green shoots of the economy, which by 2013 could surely be called saplings, we need to acknowledge that it is far better for everyone to unite with a fighting healthy spirit than to go back to black.