The world of business entertainment is changing dramatically when it comes to activities with customers and/or suppliers and there is a tide change from the traditional wining and dining, watching a soccer match or an afternoon playing golf to more physical and action based activities . Today’s decision makers of either gender think nothing now of undertaking an endurance sport, or adrenalin fix as part of a business activity.
For example there is the new and growing breed of cycling enthusiasts called MAMILs (Middle Age Men In Lycra) who would think nothing of going out on their bicycle for 100 kilometer ride to discuss business matters. From a personal experience over the last 5 years I have seen the numbers of participants increase 300% for endurance cycling events such as the Le Mans 24Hour Cycle Race combined with the increase in corporate participation in triathlon’s , marathon’s and specific endurance challenges and adding to a complete change in customer expectations. I don’t have to look far to find a specific example of corporate participation, as Schneider Electric holds the title sponsorship for several years of one of the world’s largest running events (Paris Marathon).
So the landscape has changed and the relationship with the customer has moved from entertainment to joint experiences and adventures which creates deeper and longer lasting relationships as many of these actions are not just over a few hours, but they can be over days or weekends. So today’s small talk around the boardroom or office is now all about recent physical achievements or what cool equipment has been spotted or purchased and not the soccer scores or the last round of Golf.
My conclusion is that when you create a high performance business team the changing needs of the customer relationship also needs to be addressed and if you cannot as an organization participate and or talk the new language of endurance activities you will be at a disadvantage against the competition