Sebastian Coe, as chairman of the London Organising Committee, used a great analogy for how to view the Olympics which is perfect for how you view your customers.
You must figure out who is your primary customer and look look at the mission through her lens:
Maybe its the HR director?
It starts with one person and then rapidly snowballs into thousands of staff and volunteers, only to revert to zero on the day after the Olympics. Imagine the paperwork? It must be one of the biggest HR jobs in the world.
Maybe its the security chief?
What better scene for Al Qaeda to make a statement? How to keep the queues moving but stop the weapons? How to protect the athletes and the VIP’s? It must be one of the biggest security job in the world.
Maybe its the CFO?
Before you’ve even started you know you’re down by at least two billion Pounds. This money must be recovered via sponsors, broadcast rights, tickets and the government… In the middle of a recession. It must be one of the trickiest finance jobs in the world.
Maybe its the spectator?
Transport, food, seating, queues, sound, security. You want things to move quickly, be convenient, and most importantly, be entertaining. If must be one of the highlights of the spectators life.
Or, finally, maybe its the athlete?
That’s how Sebastian Coe looked at it. He thought back to when he was an athlete at the Moscow and LA games and tried to think what was most important to him.
What is most important to the athlete is that everything goes absolutely smoothly and he is left to concentrate on the job at hand without distraction. The enormous complexity of such a massive event must be invisible to the athlete.
When you think about it, the athlete has the most important lens. If the athlete is considered in every decision then she will be able to produce the performance of her lifetime.
Which means it will be the most entertaining and memorable Olympics in history.
Figure out who your primary customer is and look at the business through her lens.