After a year’s delay, the Olympics are in full-swing, and I’m reminded that they really have something for everyone. There’s the pageantry of the opening and closing ceremonies, the behind-the-scenes drama and comeback stories, and, of course, the tension and exhilaration of the competitions.
There’s been something remarkable happening during this year's medal ceremonies. Because of safety protocols, Olympic officials aren’t hanging medals around the athletes’ necks. Instead, medal-winning athletes are helping each other put on their medals.
Take a second to think about this as if you were an Olympic athlete. You’ve just spent four years — well, in this case, five — training to compete, let’s say, for less than five minutes in a relay. You have been pushing yourself through plateaus and breakthroughs in your training, but you’ve also been pushing your teammates and they have been pushing you. In fact, you might even be competing against your relay teammates in an individual event.
In past years, when you experienced the thrill of victory, someone you had never met hung a medal around your neck. But now, the person next to you on the podium who knows what you’ve been through to get to this point — your peer, your partner, your teammate, and perhaps your sometimes-adversary — does the honor of gracing you with your medal.
There is a deeper meaning in this shared celebration. We’ve all gone through so much in the past 18 or so months. We know that this unhappy shared experience has brought us closer together, we know what we’ve all had to do to overcome adversity, and we know that we are all connected.
This isn’t just true for Olympic athletes. It’s true for the AME community as well.
We have seen the interconnected nature of our supply chains. We saw companies shift their product offerings to help health care workers get necessary supplies. And we still see companies opening their doors to show others how they’re rebounding and applying lean thinking, people-centric leadership, and a continuous improvement mindset to their enterprise.
At AME, we’re happy to facilitate these best practice sharing activities that help us do things better. There are no shortages of AME Consortia companies, AME Health Care Lean Summit and International Conference tour sites, and virtual event offerings to help participants see how they can do things more efficiently and effectively — just as teammates push each other in the Olympics.
You might be reading this message in your office. Or, perhaps, you’re reading this on your phone during a break from the factory floor or your duties at a hospital. Look around at your coworkers — this message isn’t going to disappear; you can take your eyes off it for a moment. When is the last time you thanked them for being part of your organization or for pushing you to accomplish more? Take some time to point out the great things they bring to your team.
Whether you’re in the C-suite or the frontlines, celebrate your shared victories. Together you’ve accomplished so much. It’s time to help your coworkers put on their medals.
As always, please stay safe and keep looking out for one another.
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