At the end of September 2015 along with 6999 other people, I ran 13.1 miles in the Ealing Half-marathon. The run starts in a leafy park in the borough of Ealing and winds its way along main roads, side roads, a number of parks, up hills, down hills and through suburban shopping areas.
So what? There are half-marathons run across the UK, indeed the world, and every day! What’s exciting about the Ealing Half-marathon is that it is in its third year, and has already been publically recognised by being awarded the Number One Half Marathon in the UK (The Running Awards) for two years running (excuse the pun!), and Number One for Atmosphere 2013 (Runner’s World).
As I have run in two out of the three of these events, I feel qualified to say a few words about what awards like this mean in practice, and why there are important lessons to be learned from this for you and your business.
- It is really easy to enter the event and there are encouraging words from the organisers to make everybody feel at ease and confident about entering.
- There are regular communications sent to entrants, to make sure that they know what is going on leading up to and during the run, – including how to get to a standard of fitness to enable everybody to complete the course.
- There is a party-like atmosphere at the start of the event with plenty of support, advice and activities for all entrants to join in and prepare for the forthcoming 13.1 miles.
- Along the route, the organisers have managed to enthuse an astounding level of support from the massive number of Ealing residents and businesses, all willing the 7000 runners to successfully complete the run.
- Many, many volunteers guide, provide water, support and cheering for every single one of the 7000 runners around the course.
- There is support right up to and until the last runner comes through at each stage of the run encouraging and motivating.
So, what can be learnt from these points and how does it connect to your business and your customers internally and externally?
Answer these questions honestly for your business to find out:
- How easy is it to do business with your organisation? Can your customers easily reach the person they need to in the most efficient way for them? Are all your processes and procedures designed around your customer and how often are they reviewed to ensure they are current and up to date?
- How and how often are you communicating with both your internal and external customers to make sure that they feel valued and included? Or are you always waiting for them to come to you?
Are you there in a similar way for all your customers “from the first through to the last runner”?
- How are you ensuring that your existing customers create goodwill for you with new potential customers?
- How are you “training” your team so that they are capable of achieving success in their roles and are you setting realistic goals to help (and stretch) them, including reviewing progress regularly to ensure they are on track and feeling good?
- How are you creating an environment (culture) that encourages your team to do their best work and how are you supporting them to be successful for themselves, their team and the organisation? How are the team encouraged to support each other?
- How often and how are you celebrating success and what does that look like in your organisation?
Contact us today for a telephone, virtual or face-to-face conversation