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  Lord Chris Holmes MBE is accompanied by his beautiful guide dog Lottie.

Lord Holmes starts by challenging a few stereotypes. He is going to talk about diversity and inclusion – sort of. 

He talks about his upbringing in the midlands and what it meant to be in predetermined silos – what was determined for him and his friends was a route into the factories of the West Midlamd even though they were already in decline. The Grammer school up the road was different – with their Latin and coaching through exams. 

He lost his sight suddenly when he was 14 and woke up blind. He was sent to a special school and if he really, really tried he might be able to become a piano tuner or basket weaver. 

At 14 he didn’t know the word silo but did know that he wanted to do alevels and go to university and represent his country in sport. 

Cut to many years later post alevels, Cambridge and the Barcelona olympics with 6 golds.   He had to look at everything before the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics to achieve cotinued success.  He then joined the team to bid for London 2012. 

A vibrant, dynamic, fluid structure with a team of 50 people working to pip Paris and win the bid. 

They agreed that when they made the decision the people in the hall had to reflect the bid and its diversity. So the team had a mix of students from the boroughs around the Olympic park. Reflecting the aims and objectives of the bid. 

 To make the games work they recognised that had to have a structure that would attract the best in the world to meet the most imovable of deadlines. We told everyone coming in we want you and need you to do the best work of your lives. 

Not about smashing silos but not creating them in the first place! 

The Gamesmakers – how do you control 70 thousand people who you are asking to work the best work of their lives when you are paying them nothing. Didn’t call them volunteers but Gamesmakers as these were the individuals who would make the games




Ensure they understood their role then allow them to brings of themselves and make the environment buzz. Not just operational but experiential. 

The to the Paralympics – a tricky product, largely unknown. Research showed only 40% ticket sales, no corporate sponsors or media deals. They knew they had to put the concept of elite sport and disability together – and worked with Channel 4 on the superhumans video

18 months in the making and 90 seconds to blast into people’s conciousness – how to smash through silos of thought. 

Possibly beyond ourselves – not just that but Stepehn Hawkins talking about beyond our universe. Talk about smashing silos!

11 days of the most sensational, mind changing, silo smashing amazing sport. 

Lord Holmes finished with the essential advice Never ever ever  speak at a primary school!!

Now he works with organisations to get the best from people. Driving performance and utter unrelenting commitment to performance through vision, mission, strategy, plan and people – no magic just the magic of sticking to it. 

Believe in yourselves, your colleagues and what you are trying to achieve. Unleash your people to do the best work of their lives 
This post was live blogged – please excuse any typos!