Expect the unexpected

No Team GB Olympic organiser or coach could’ve really expected we’d finish fourth. Publicly, they refused to be drawn on targets and predictions (very wise) but privately they must’ve sat on the fence with quiet confidence and, no doubt, more than a modicum of fear. Yet, Team GB shattered all expectations and it’s praise indeed to all involved; from Chris Hoy all the way back to John Major (for instigating the lottery). An elite winner with big ambitions has replaced the plucky underdog and polite also-ran that was the United Kingdom. But can British business align itself with sport?

Well, I heard an ex-government economist on the radio last weekend who admitted that official figures used by the Bank’s MPC (and the media of course) are constantly adjusted with time. They can move. A lot.

What was a 2-point drop in growth for March 2006, with hindsight and more data, may actually prove to have only been a quarter point. A one point positive may have been just the opposite. So the data we’re all hearing about now may be completely incorrect.

Ultimately it’s no surprise that forecasts can be, and often are, incorrect. There’s hope then that the current slow-down won’t amount to the economic Armageddon we’re all consuming in the media? It’s fingers and toes crossed that the predictions are as incorrect for GB’s Treasury as they were for Team GB.

Photos from Olympics.org & Getty on BBC.co.uk

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