WINNING LIKE A FORMULA ONE TEAM
In April I was invited to attend the Formula One Races in Shanghai with a group of expats. I had planned to be in China to continue work on a project there, so attending the races came at just the right time.
In preparation for the race I watched the Melbourne race on TV two weeks prior. Watching on TV is exciting because you can see the entire race as it unfolds, but being at the race in person is undeniably more exciting. Watching the cars come down the back stretch at 220 mph, apply their breaks within what seems like an impossible distance to make a hairpin turn at 47 mph, then accelerate back to top speed before entering another turn is thrilling. The track in Shanghai is 3.4 miles long, and the cars would make a lap in one minute and 31 seconds.
Formula One may be about racing, but it’s also a business, and watching these races got me thinking about the road to success. There are three main areas that any successful business and race team have to master: people, systems and processes, and product and services.
We must have good people to accomplish the work. As Jim Collins said in his book Good to Great, we have to have the right people on the bus and in the right seats. Nothing of significance is accomplished by one person alone. The F1 teams are made up of some of the best. There is a lot of money at stake with every race (an F1 car costs about $10 million), and it requires a team of good people—just like your business does.
SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES
We must have systems and processes for the work to get done well, and on time. The precision with which the work gets done during a race is impressive. A car comes into the pit and the pit crew changes all four tires in 2.5 seconds. Repetition is the mother of all skill, and these teams practice relentlessly until they get it right and can repeat it consistently. They follow a system and a process to create perfection. All businesses require a system and a process for how work gets done. These systems and processes create consistency and eliminate chaos, which is the enemy of efficiency. Just ask any F1 pit crew.
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
To compete in an F1 race, each team has to have the very best products (cars). There’s not just money at stake here, but the safety of the drivers. The competition is fierce, but the situation isn’t much different for business owners. Competition is fierce and without outstanding products and services, the race will be won by the competition.
If you are wondering how to develop an F1 team in your business—with the people, systems and processes, and products and services necessary to beat the competition—give us a call.