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  • Writer's pictureHennie Brittz

From Grand Prix to Boardroom: Unleashing your people’s performance

When we watch the fast-paced world of Formula One (F1), we see more than just a battle between drivers and machines. Behind the speed lies an intricate matrix of leadership, teamwork and execution. Much like F1, businesses too need a high-performance formula to function optimally.

Formula One pitstop

2Collaborate High Performance Formula

So, what makes top F1 teams so exceptional?

Ask any F1 fan what sets their favourite team apart, and you’ll hear responses like: "Everyone’s on the same page," "They have great leadership," "The team works like a well-oiled machine," and "They get things done." And let’s not forget about the “deep trust” that exists between the driver and the race engineers and strategists - this cohesion can make or break a race.

These aren't just buzzwords but the foundation for high performance in both sports and corporate arenas.

How is this relevant to business, you may ask?

Drawing on over 30 years of experience, across industries and job levels, 2Collaborate has designed a High Performance Formula that integrates the key elements of strategy, leadership, team alignment and execution. Tailored to each business’s needs, it serves as a roadmap for operational excellence.

Aligned Direction

Imagine planning an F1 race season. Strategies, structures and game plans are set well in advance and translated into clear goals and targets. These goals form the team “scorecard”, indicating performance requirements for each department - whether it's the engineers fine-tuning the car or the pit crew readying for a seamless tire change.

Creating and cascading this “scorecard” is not simply a checklist exercise. Just as critical as the race itself, developing the “scorecard” is a task that requires intention, collaboration and cross-functional input. When effectively cascaded down and then rolled back up through the organisation, it ensures a clear understanding of the key performance indicators (KPIs) at every level.

This is the essence of Aligned Direction - a shared clarity on the end goal with a road map of how to get there. For businesses, it underscores the importance of ensuring that everyone, from senior management to ground-level teams, comprehends and aligns with the company's vision and strategy.

Visible and Engaged Leadership

McLaren's Lando Norris and Ferrari's Carlos Sainz are both exceptional drivers. But their success isn't just about their ability to navigate the racetrack. It's also about the alignment with their team and the race engineer leading them. Cascading the strategy, which flows from the principal to the race strategist and engineer and finally the driver, plays a key part in ensuring strategic alignment. Like in any business, if one department thrives while another struggles, the overall performance suffers.

Leadership is about fostering collaboration, ensuring clear communication and creating an enabling environment where individual achievements align with team success. Those leaders who are visible and actively foster a culture of respect, understanding and trust, can make quick decisions with their teams during the critical moments in a race. In these high-pressure situations, the collaboration between the race strategist, engineer and driver can be the difference between winning and losing.

While drivers execute the strategy on the track, they need to understand that they don’t always have the broader perspective from the pit wall. Races are unpredictable, but with an in-depth understanding of the “scorecard” and the rules of the road, they can adapt on-the-fly to optimise results. To achieve this agile dynamic, leaders must be equipped with the essential skills and tools that bridge the gaps and enable effective teamwork.

Teamwork from the pit wall

Engaged Teams that Execute

Picture a pitstop. In mere seconds, a crew of over 20 members descend on a car to execute a range of tasks flawlessly. Every movement, from individual action to team coordination, is planned and practised down to the last millisecond. This drive for precision - from choosing the right individual for every role, to enhancing the team’s physical and mental fitness and drafting individual development plans - is what leads to record-breaking pitstops that clock in at 1.8 seconds. This precision stems from each team member understanding their role, possessing the skills and resources together with an unwavering commitment to the end goal.

To help teams make decisions quickly and accurately, 2Collaborate has developed a structured team meetings methodology called TeamConnect. Through a clear understanding of the strategy and “scorecard”, teams are empowered to make decisions that drive optimal outcomes. This ensures that obstacles are quickly identified and removed and efforts streamlined so that the team is as productive and focused as possible.

Process Excellence

The drive to continuously improve is what keeps an F1 team on top. When teams have clarity of purpose, effective systems, processes and policies and a growth mindset, they will keep getting better at what they do and how they do it.

Process excellence and continuous improvement

The race debrief session is where this process excellence unfolds. In this session, the team reviews and analyses their performance - how the strategies played out, how the car performed and what did or didn’t work. The idea is to learn from each race and make continual improvements to enhance the team’s chances of future success.

Bringing it all together

Together, these principles form the High Performance Formula. While the Formula provides the roadmap to peak performance, the horsepower lies in its execution. TeamConnect, 2Collaborate’s team performance methodology, is a powerful mechanism that brings this Formula to life.

Using structured team meetings and ongoing dialogue, TeamConnect champions a cycle of review, action planning, team fitness and execution. Much like the meticulous adjustments and marginal gains made in F1, this tried and tested approach ensures that teams continuously refine their plans, push boundaries and sustain peak performance.

Here are 5 things that can help you drive team performance like an F1 team:

The Five Fundamentals of TeamConnect

TeamConnect team performance methodology

1. Focus: Places a dual emphasis on Performance (key outputs and KPI alignment) and Behaviour (upholding organisational values)

2. Format: Uses a structured agenda to create an ongoing cycle of performance review, goal-setting, team building and plan execution

3. Frequency: Aligns discussions with strategic, tactical and operational horizons to ensure timely decision-making

4. Forum: Engages the right people, at the right time to discuss relevant topics for more efficient outcomes

5. Facilitation: Equips leaders for their role in creating open, constructive dialogue. This ensures continual learning and fosters an environment of engagement and growth.

How can 2Collaborate help?

If you would like to know more about this winning formula, click here to reach out and discover how 2Collaborate can help your business execute its strategy, race after race, year after year.

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About the author

Hennie Brittz, Managing Director at 2Collaborate

Hennie Brittz Managing Director at 2Collaborate

Hennie has spent 15 years in business and consulting conceptualising, designing and implementing large-scale performance improvement processes.

Get to know more about Hennie on LinkedIn

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