Olympics: unexpected guests

I love events. It seems to me that the potential of the event is far from being fully utilized. At the level of companies, cities and the whole country. And, of course, I cannot be indifferent to the biggest event in the world - the Olympics. And here are the conclusions that are ripe.

Unfortunately, it is customary to criticize and doubt the 2014 Olympics now. It has even become a commonplace. Unfortunately, the Olympic project has become a completely “another” state project. Like a gas pipe and energy expansion.

And it could be a national project, a unifying, inspiring, project of reviving romance. As a matter of fact, this partly explains the reason for criticism and doubt. Inconsistency of expectations and reality.

To get out of this trap is one of the main tasks of those involved in the communications of the Sochi Olympics. Until that moment, they were engaged only in communication support of construction and the movement of money.

And what is the main task of the organizers? It is believed that the construction site. And here I strongly doubt it.

We build, of course, for a short time and very expensive. But still we are building and are able to build on time. So, having tremendous resources, I am sure that everything that needs to be built. The IOC has a well-developed system of checks that allow them to conduct games at a high level from year to year.

There are also environmental problems, problems of return on investment, future infrastructure and the facilities themselves. All this is too far and abstract for us to worry seriously.

There is now another problem with the performance of our team. After all, you must be the first at your Olympiad. But this problem cannot be the main one. In the end, our responsibility is to host the Olympics, not win.

And here we come to the main thing. To do this, remember the sensational "Russian House" in Vancouver. Large, noisy, alcoholic, technological and very visited. I want to give some feedback from visitors to the Russian House in order to understand how they perceive us from the outside.

- "Cool scenery, but unfriendly people. Almost no one spoke English."

- "unlike us Canadians, Russians don’t take children with them on trips. Therefore, the house is not suitable for children .. the food was especially disappointing: the food was on top and only for the media and VIP ... my verdict: do not go."

- "To parents ... take food and an interpreter with you ...."

- "go there - spend time. Many Russians know nothing about manners"

- "A huge Russian blocked my way and said" closed "! I tried to find out why, but he ..."

- "if this is a symbol of what will happen when they take the Winter Olympics, they will meet a cold response from the whole world"

- "spent 3.5 hours in line. inside - nothing interesting"

- "2 hours of my life that I will never return"

- "I am Russian, I grew up in Sochi. I want to apologize for the lack of manners and friendliness during a visit to the Russian house" ...

There are, of course, positive reviews saying that the “Russian House” is the best House of all Olympic Houses. But the leitmotif of most reviews - and this is very important - is ours, to put it mildly, hostility. At the same time, we are sure that the task of the “Russian House” is exactly the opposite. Show our openness, inspire trust, interest. And you can be sure that there was staff training, that the right words were spoken. But it didn’t work out. Something burst out.

And this is - it seems to me, the main gag of the organizers, to which hands do not reach, because we have a grand construction here. We are not hospitable.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs officer who will meet tourists at the airport is not hospitable. Not a hospitable seller in a store that will sell fruit. Even volunteers who have a bad day and have a headache are not hospitable. All of them without these guests are better and easier. They are a hindrance, like a hindrance we are all for that cleaning lady who walks between us and grumbles that we have trodden a lot.

We are reasonable people, and we do not seriously believe in innate national qualities. Everything can be fixed. But the “hospitality program” for hundreds of thousands of volunteers who will come from all regions of the country, residents of Sochi, employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and employees of sports departments will take several years. This program requires tremendous resources, sincere faith and courage. In fact, we all must learn to smile, learn to readily help those who need help, and enjoy talking about the city and the country. We must believe in another image. Return romantic values ​​to yourself.

Then the Olympics will fulfill its image goal. And not if our ice stadium is declared the best ice palace for the entire time of the Olympic Games. There is no doubt that this, by the way, will be.

This is the main trap of the event. It seems to you that the whole point is in the scenery, music and script. It seems to you that the whole point is the architectural design of the stadium or the quality of the road. But your guests do not communicate with the scenery, they are not welcomed by the star you invited. They do not communicate with your stadium. Your people meet them. Ordinary people. Which are glad to see them or not. Every single one, including a cleaning lady and a security guard. Glad or not. Two simple options.

The same problem was solved before us. Many years before the Olympics, the Chinese began to teach people to smile, communicate in a friendly manner, and in any way form a positive image of the new China and Beijing. Similar "hospitality programs" were implemented in London. Alertness towards guests is not only our privilege.

I want our Olympiad to be not only “very-most”, but also hospitable. This is our real Olympic challenge in 2014: to be hospitable, to be able to do our job with a smile.