Point of View: Accountable austerity

Tracey Follows
JWT London

It seems 'austerity' is going to be with us for a while, so we might as well look for an upside. And it's this: austerity at least makes us accountable. John Gerzema's TED Talk on the 'post-crisis consumer' is a good place to start because he was one of the first to pinpoint the important shift that has taken place in which consumers are having to take more responsibility for their spending. Essentially, people are derisking: being extra resourceful in how and on what they spend their hard-earned money.

But perhaps what the sporting summer of 2012 showed us was that no-one wins by just playing it safe. What we learnt in particular from the Team GB Olympic Cycling Team was that analysis is as important as aptitude. Every single opportunity for a microscopic marginal gain was taken – an army of 28 marginal gains-makers accumulated data, made intelligent predictions, analysed every rider and every race in forensic detail and made minute adjustments that turned out to be winning moves.