The business behind the Formula-1 racing

It takes a multi-skilled team to get a F1-car onto the race track. And it takes another multi-skilled team to get it round the track.

Races are won, not by the driver's performance, but by the team's. Often it is the pit crew who determine the outcome of a race.

Who gets the glory? The driver! Yes, the driver risks his life to become champion. But his team determines the degree of that risk, and his championship placing.

Like F1 your business also requires a multi-skilled team. Timing may not be quite so precise, but it is just as important that everyone works at their optimum and acts at precisely the right time and in the right way. In both cases team effectiveness depends on the strength of collective purpose and the application, optimization and combination of individual talents.

Your strategy is focused on beating the competition; therefore, you demand improved performance and greater productivity. But you offer little in return. You do little to fire the competitiveness of your people. You try to motivate them by creating incentives to improve their performance (as you know these have only a limited short term effect). What you fail to recognize is that the creation of ‘self-interest’ invokes jealousy, conflict and divisions that undermines your efforts and destroys effective teamwork. Sub-teams work for their own team goals. Not for those of the overall business. You have to replace incentive remuneration with a model that has everyone focused on business results rather than their own.

It’s not very difficult to create an effect similar to F1. F1-teams are businesses in their own right and, like any business, their objective is to put together the best possible combination of solutions to deliver a result.

It’s all about making your employers co-owners of the business and offering them a transparent way of participating in its results (recognizing however, that people contribute in different ways).

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