London 2012 Olympic rings forged

(Originally written for the CIPR Friday Roundup.)

You'll congratulate me for noticing there's a sporting event starting today in London town. Too obvious then not to interweave some Olympic statistics into today's Roundup.

It's 2579 days (just over seven years) since London won the right to host the 2012 Olympics. The exact price tag is still to be totted up, but we're looking at somewhere north or south of 10,000,000,000 sterling; four times the original estimate.

The Olympic Delivery Authority has overseen the construction of 30 new bridges, the restoration of 8.35km of waterways, the building of 1.8km of sewer tunnels, the demolition of over 200 buildings, the removal of 52 electricity pylons, and the cleaning of more than two million tonnes of soil. And some more besides.

This exemplifies what organisations invest most of their information systems managing – the flows of time, money and materials. Managing these flows is business critical. Obviously.

The 21st Century organisation must extend its information systems to cover a fourth kind of flow, the flow of influence. Sure the Olympic Delivery Authority understands marketing and communications, but there is influence in everything an organisation does and sometimes in what it decides not to do. It's not just the domain of marketing and public relations. And the sooner organisations get the systems, processes, skills and culture in place to keep on top of the way influence goes around comes around, the quicker they'll put themselves in a gold medal position.

Happy Olympics.

[Photo credit: Nick J Webb]