Nothing relaxes me more than kicking back after work watching sports competition. So the 17 days of the XXII Olympic Winter Games was almost as good as a vacation. Now that the flame has been extinguished in Sochi I wonder what subliminal message about my business of 3D data documentation these 88 nations and 2,871 athletes provided me.

When a hundredth of a second can mean the difference between gold and silver in competitive sports… what does a hundredth of a foot mean to a competitive civil transportation marketplace? Math’s a perfect science not a judgment call. The only judgment is how it’s used or as I have often seen… “manipulated”.  If you want survey grade data then collect at survey grade accuracy. Manipulation of any data introduces errors. Dummy down… don’t expect to smarten up!

When a trusted brand in sportswear becomes an excuse for poor performance… what does that say about the confidence you have in the brands that make up your toolbox? Trusting means we have established a relationship from past performance resulting in a confidence of a product brand. The service brand requires more confidence often established through experience. Therefore, it is equally important to have trust in both the tool and the user.

When illness can sideline a professional seasoned sportscaster from covering a quadrennial event… what does that say about the diversity of your employees? The perception of small business is that they have limited resources when in reality the resources they have are finely tuned in position for timely responses. Industry positioned “big guys” understand the power of leveraging small business. The perception of big business is that they have more resources but in reality those resources are and should be the teaming effort of smaller companies. Good organizational structure depends on a solid base of diversification and cross training.

When technology just malfunctions as it often can enough to change the number of continents represented in the Olympic rings… how are you positioned to handle stubborn technology snowflakes in your organization? Preparedness is proactive for any situation and is necessary to respond and recover efficiently to resume business operations. The best plan you can have is redundancy. Did I mention the best plan you can have is redundancy? The potential points of failure whether, personnel, equipment or technology should be solidly based on cross training and back-up processes.

When crushing the competition becomes desperation in judging… what effect does your attitude about your competition have on undermining the technology? Surprisingly enough psychologists say defensive actions usually come from desperation and it usually comes from a false sense of perceived domination of power… the big guys. Until the turn of the century the railroad industry was protective of their tracks to crush the competition in the name of continental domination. They accomplished this through specialized standards and rail shapes. A train would have to actually change wheels in order to utilize a competitor’s track. Not until 1886 did standardize gauge for US major railroads became universal. Benefits for all the rail companies as well as the public were shared because of competitive mentoring.

Healthy competition not only pushes athletes to excel it also breeds innovation through market demand. Henry Ford stated it best when he said transitioning from the horse drawn carriage to the automobile… “If I had listened to the public and the competition they would have wanted faster horses!”

Competition should be part of the business plan. We are a society of choices. From our breakfast cereal to the technology we choose. When there is only one player in the game the choices become extinct. Innovation is narrow minded and complacently sets in. It is human nature to gravitate to the easy or in my case for 17 days in February the easy chair.