Agile Marketing and GymnasticsLike many of you I’m sure, I’ve been watching the Olympic Games this week. I was particularly fascinated by the U.S. Women’s Olympic team, which won the Gold Medal.

What lessons can we learn from these five young women?

Consistency Counts

Watching each event, we all become judges. Did she stick the landing? On the balance beam, did she maintain her balance at all times? During the floor work, did she stay within the bounds? Consistently executing an easier routine (but not too easy) almost always beats inconsistent execution of a more difficult routine.

The Russian team was at times brilliant, but their inconsistency was the difference that led to the U.S. being awarded the Gold.

In Agile Marketing, what can we do to achieve that consistency? Are we choosing activities that we know well enough to pull off perfection and consistency? Or are we choosing activities that are beyond our capabilities to perform in a consistent, quality fashion?

We also need to think about the practice needed to achieve that consistency and perfection. When we try to pull off something new and difficult, is there a low risk way that we can master that skill before we execute in a venue as unforgiving as the Olympics?

Don’t Be Afraid to Bring in the Specialist

McKayla Maroney was brought in for just one event, the vault, but her performance was flawless. How the judges found enough fault to deduct a quarter of a point, I’ll never know.

For Agile Marketing, there are times when it’s best to bring in a specialist, and let them “do their thing”. Certainly for some of the more technical aspects of SEO, for complex statistical analysis, perhaps even for copywriting on critical documents, a specialist may be the right choice to achieve near perfection.

Team Chemistry Improves Performances

I couldn’t help but notice the huge difference in team chemistry between the Russian team and the American team. The American girls were hugely supportive of each other, hugging and congratulating after each performance. The Russians either seemed to go through the motions, or in at least one case, a Russian gymnast refused any contact with anyone because she was so upset by her performance.

For Agile Marketing, team chemistry also impacts performance. Research consistently shows that having a best friend at work leads to improved performance. All of us have had the experience of doing our best work in an environment of trust and great team chemistry.

What about you? Have you been watching the London Olympics? What lessons have you taken away?

Jim Ewel

I love marketing. I think it’s one of the most difficult and one of most exciting jobs in any company. My goal with this blog is to evangelize agile marketing and help marketers increase the speed, predictability, transparency, and adaptability to change of the marketing function.

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