Approximately 80,000 components come together to make a Formula 1 car. The cars must be assembled with cent per cent accuracy, meaning if it were assembled 99.9% correctly, it would go on the track with 80 components wrongly placed.
A Formula 1 engine can reach 16,000+ rpm, 0-60 in 1.6 seconds, and tops out north of 200mph using its 8 gears. These machines are capable of 90-100mph in 1st gear!
Going 90mph in 1st gear, you are revving on the edge of engine failure.
Imagine being stuck in 1st gear and compare your company or group to a Formula 1 car. You can race past most road cars in 1st gear, but your Formula 1 brethren are shifting gears and outpacing you. How long can you sustain that output before failure? Can you finish the race if your engine explodes?
Your group could be one of the most advanced road machines on the planet, but if you’re stuck in gear, you'll likely end up on the sidelines watching even the slowest cars pass by.
How do you get your organization to begin shifting gears, saving your engine, and speeding past the competition?
Ask yourself these questions:
1. Where is your group getting stuck?
There are often times when a group stops moving with the same momentum it had once before. This is the initial sign that something has changed, the check engine light. A detailed analysis will need to be taken to determine the root cause.
2. Does your group have an outlet/release?
During a race, you will often hear the race engineer tell a driver to "save the tires" or "back off the revs". Usually, this is said to a leading driver who is outpacing the car behind. There is a fine line; the engineer is not saying to become complacent or give up. The desired outcome is a win, not a smoking engine on the side of the track. Get out of the office, and tell your people to take an unexpected Friday afternoon off and recharge.
3. Does motivation come from the top down or bottom up?
Managers in most groups are pushing & pulling a team to generate results. An effective group is so fired up that the manager expends their energy focusing the fire through the engine to achieve maximum results.
4. Does your machine work together as a unit, or are individual components causing friction?
Friction inside a group can metastasize into failure. Drain the oil out of your engine and see what happens. Even in the most competitive environments, a success for an individual is a catalyst for group success. This holds true as when one component fails, the whole engine can seize.
5. Do your internal conflicts show externally?
Internal conflicts within a group can sometimes be compartmentalized, such as a check engine light. No passerby can see this from outside the car. When a conflict happens, it can be seen outwardly, such as a wheel coming off. Even spectators must go on the defensive to avoid the ensuing catastrophe.
Once you have identified the 80 misplaced components, you can make the necessary changes to become a World Championship winning team!