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August 13, 2012
LONDON, UK, Aug 13, 2012/ Troy Media/ – It’s over. The London 2012 Olympics has been a huge sporting event and, in the hearts of many a British citizen, a huge success as a spectacle and advertisement for the country; heck even the sun shone.
All around the country the ‘feel good’ factor had been growing since the first of the 8,000 Olympic torchbearers took the flame across Great Britain, and will no doubt continue for days now that the Games have closed. The question remains though, what will happen when the flame dims?
The Games were here to ‘inspire a generation’ and inspiration is much needed, for behind the sense of camaraderie and the success of Team GB, the woes that have cast a shadow over the economy for some time now remain: any short term benefit business felt because of the Games may not provide anything more than short-term stimulus.
While it is true that the 40 per cent of London companies reported increased demand, outweighing the 27 per cent who reported a negative impact (The Financial Times after a cross-sector survey conducted by Deloitte), we have yet to see how that translates financially in the capitol or throughout the country.
The news stories underlying the health of the UK economy that have taken second place during the Olympics remain:
So what has this got to do with the Olympic flame I hear you cry? Well, as I see it, there is a real opportunity, beyond any challenge the London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) Legacy team has to make to balance the books; how do the British rally to maintain the momentum and spirit of communal winning?
Can we as individuals, businesses and society use the emotional legacy as a spark to create the faintest flicker of confidence, or should we simply revel in the afterglow of London 2012 whilst dealing with the return of the economic reality? The question is perhaps more social than economic, albeit the two, in my opinion, are impossibly inseparable influences.
The recent banking scandals and the Mille Dowler phone hacking scandal (Millie was a 13-year-old English girl who was abducted on her way home from school in 2002 and subsequently murdered) with their implications of corruption (financial and moral) could spark positive social outrage, but nothing akin to outrage of the riots that raged through some of Britain’s cities not so long ago. On Twitter recently the following image appeared and, for me, summarised the desire to see UK society break free of the dross and faux celebrity pandering which has generated a desire for instant success in a currently disenchanted youth.
Nothing can help transform today’s youth and, as a consequence, the economy, like the sports. It falls to us all to keep the Olympic legacy alive; to keep the flame burning and to inspire a generation.
Geoff Major founded BlueDucks Limited (www.blueducks.com) in 2001 to help business change by looking at the customer experience ‘a little differently.’ He can be reached at email@example.com.
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