“Together for a Shared Future” is the official motto of the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games Beijing 2022.
It’s a powerful message after the challenges we’ve all shared throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. And it echoes the necessity and power of collaboration in helping teams overcome seemingly impossible odds.
As you may know, Salesforce has entered a multi-year marketing partnership with Team GB in which we’ll be helping to bring fans and athletes closer together.
After the inspiring events at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, we’re excited to see what the coming Winter Games will deliver. In the meantime, we want to pose – and answer – a simple question: what can the Winter Olympics teach us about collaboration in business?
As it turns out, quite a bit.
At Salesforce, our core values are trust, equality, customer success, and innovation. And collaboration is the thread that ensures we advance those values together, as one company.
But this is bigger than just Salesforce colleagues. It’s increasingly clear that collaboration is vital to customer success, and yet working in disconnected silos remains commonplace. In fact, one study found that 70% of customer experience professionals and executives view silo mentality as the biggest obstacle to great customer service.
Disconnected silos also serve to erode trust, limit communications, and foster complacency, creating an environment unfit for shared, collaborative growth. Many businesses already recognise this, with 80% of decision-makers saying a single source of customer truth would create ‘significant’ or ‘indispensable’ value for their company.
That’s why we want to extend the power of collaboration to every customer – to co-create their success in a trusted and equal partnership. And we don’t do this just because it’s a nice principle. We do it because that’s what it takes to deliver the connected and personalised digital experiences that your own customers expect.
This kind of collaboration has clear practical requirements: connecting silos and uniting everyone under a shared vision of success, empowered by a single view of the customer. We believe the best results happen when you empower diverse teams built on different skillsets, perspectives, and approaches to come together and put the customer first.
In a nutshell, you need people of all social and professional backgrounds to share a vision before you can innovate and drive success. That’s the kind of teamwork that the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games embodies.
Looking for collaboration inspiration from this year’s Winter Games? Look no further than GB Snowsport’s CEO, Vicky Gosling.
A former group captain in the Royal Air Force, Gosling has helped change the perception of snowsport in the UK during the 2020 Olympics, even rebranding the ‘British Ski & Snowboard’ team as the broader ‘GB Snowsport’. And as Eurosport reports, “Gosling does not think in silos” – much like the Trailblazers using Salesforce to bring together teams that previously struggled to collaborate.
But its Gosling’s latest initiative that truly embodies the spirit of collaborative innovation. To create elite athletes who can compete at both the winter and summer Olympics, Gosling is breaking tradition to help spot young people with the skills, balance, and athleticism for multiple emerging Olympic sports.
For example, GB Snowsport’s Project Balance initiative aims to diversify its teams by helping introduce kids to skateboarding – a sport that shares several qualities with snowboarding – and give them what Gosling calls “a pathway to the mountains”. She has also helped launch talent ID events across gymnastics, cycling, rowing, and more, with a view to unite and train young athletes in a sport-agnostic space.
“I would like to be in a position where athletes get a period of 12-18 months training together, and they don’t need to specialise [in a specific sport] yet – a bit like doing your GCSEs,” says Gosling. This means young athletes are free to diversify their skillset and experiment without the pressure to commit to any one sport.
At the core of Gosling’s philosophy is the belief that by bringing people together from different disciplines and uniting them around shared goals, you can create an unstoppable team. It’s a belief we feel many business leaders would benefit from sharing.
And wherever her collaborative vision takes the Winter Games next, we can’t help but see Gosling as an honorary Trailblazer.
You might not be managing groups of athletes, but your own business can still gain from people working together to achieve shared goals. And to make that happen, your employees need to work from a shared, single source of truth.
We believe data shouldn’t be locked away in silos, and that data preparation and governance should be simple. Not a job for the select few – but a seamless part of everyone’s day-to-day activities.
In fact, since introducing Slack and Tableau to the Salesforce family, we’ve been inspired by how our customers are using them to achieve exactly that. You see, Tableau lets users easily visualise shared information and drill down into large datasets using natural language, and now you can even use Slack to ask questions of your data and share the answers.
In essence, we’re on a mission to connect data and make it easier to embed live data in documents and collaboration tools. Because when everyone has access to the data-driven insights they need, everyone wins – especially your customers.
Whether summer or winter, the Olympic and Paralympic Games always provide great examples of empathy, trust, and collaboration, and how those strengths combine to help individuals overcome shared challenges.
And much like the Olympians participating in this coming year’s Winter Games, Salesforce aims to create a community where people can, “collaborate, take care of one another, have fun together, and work to leave the world a better place”.
To learn how Salesforce can help you enhance collaboration and connect data in your own organisation, take a closer look at the Slack-first Salesforce Customer 360 platform.