(even if it is for only 1.82 seconds)

It does seem counter intuitive but sometimes you can get to the finish line quicker if you take the time to fully understand the total game plan, in some cases this actually means that you may have to physically stop.

All too often we get so caught up in refining micro aspects of the problems that we trying to resolve that we simply lose sight of the bigger picture, only to be disappointed with the results achieved. We often don’t have the time to think outside of the square in order to generate creative and innovative solutions, but some problems can really benefit from this. One way that we can avoid this myopic view is to STOP and “really challenge our definition and understanding” of what we are trying to achieve. This practice does not come easily but be assured you don’t have to stop for long.

How long? You may have heard the phrase “in the blink of an eye” and given the average human blinks 20 times a minute, that’s one blink every three seconds. So let me ask you, what can you possibly do in 1.82 seconds?

Not a lot you may think.  Yet this was the world record time set by Max Verstappen and Red Bull racing at the F1 Brazilian Grand Prix in 2019. Between blinking Red Bull Racing could bring the vehicle to a controlled stop and change all four tyres! And when millions are spent on gaining just a 10th of a second on the track, time lost in the pits just isn’t an option. For those that want to know more and to see how this was achieved I highly recommend that you watch the documentary at the following link : RedBull.

For the rest of you that have read this far and thinking that this may not be applicable to me then I would encourage to bear with me a fraction further. Whilst this pit stop time is impressive we have to wind the clock back several decades to a time when pit stops where not a standard part of every race and this is how it came about.

The brains and architect behind how they could ultimately achieve this breakthrough came through the insights of Gordon Murray back in 1982. For anyone who follows F1 he has a reputation as an entrepreneur in the true sense of the word. The formulaic approach to F1 and the governance that surrounds it can make it difficult to gain any competitive edge. Even if you do develop something then your competitors ability to adapt and utilise your differentiator gives you very limited time to exploit this. Murray had observed that a car carrying less fuel was lighter and therefore accelerated quicker, braked quicker and handled better. By measuring the potential time saving per lap when compared to a fully fueled car, he calculated that as long as the pit stop was short it could provide a significant competitive edge. This did of course come with other challenges but I don’t want to put too many spoilers in the text and would encourage you to watch the documentary!

So what has that to do with your business and its ability to constantly transform and innovate? It’s a combination of observing what is in front of you and taking the time to stop and to explore options. We also get so caught up in looking for quick resolutions without defining and understanding the problem we are trying to solve.

I was very fortunate, in an earlier life, to work for the largest CAD/CAM/CAE organisation from 1987-1995, this was Computervision. As one of the major suppliers to a number of F1 teams I gained first hand exposure and experience to the likes of Minardi, Lotus and McClaren. Interestingly enough we still deploy some of the lessons learnt from this exposure within our own operations today. F1, as with any business, is all about compromise. The critical aspect of this is knowing and understanding what compromises you are making and constantly refining and fine tuning these to deliver the desired results.

If you would like to learn more about understanding our better approach to identifying, understanding and refining organisational compromises then feel free to drop me an email.

“If I had an hour to solve a problem I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”

Albert Einstein