Research highlights a powerful new source of competitive advantage that derives from team performance.
Quarter 4 has arrived. You are at lap 40 of a 52-lap race and the pressure is mounting. But if you pull into the pit lane will your management team be ready to support you? Will their input help you to win?
There is no time for lengthy ‘talking shops’ and endless meetings. When the team comes together the focus should be on performance and gaining the edge. They should spot what needs to be fixed fast and quickly emerge re-energized, re-focused and primed to win. In short they need to work like a pit crew.
What Great Teamwork Looks Like
We all have had experience of working with great teams, as well as perhaps some lousy teams too. Yet it can be hard to describe what teamwork is – to make it tangible and put it in words.
Thankfully there is a new way of communicating what great teamwork is, and why it matters. Go to the nearest motor racetrack, or simply type ‘pit stop’ into YouTube. To watch the Ferrari or Red Bull team undertake a pit stop is to witness teamwork at its best. It is truly awe-inspiring.
A pit stop is a race against the clock.
For just a few seconds a driver’s success is in the hands of a highly-choreographed pit team of up to 20 people. It looks deceptively easy, but just one guy in the wrong place, and 1st place can become 7th place!
Millions of people are watching from their living rooms – a clock at the bottom of the TV screen counts down the milliseconds. One second, wheels off… two seconds, wheels on… three seconds, the car is back in the race. That’s it!
Great pit stops win races; lousy pit stops lose races.
What happens when the pit crew comes together determines the outcome of the race. Now research shows that what happens when your management team comes together determines the success of your organization. Several books on this topic have been produced in recent years – they highlight the ability to have an effective dialogue about performance and potential as a winning capability. They call it the ability of have ‘strategic conversations’.
Today’s high-performing management teams need the same focus, discipline, speed and teamwork. That makes the pit crew the new standard for team performance. So bring your management team together to discuss the performance and potential of your organization or business unit and observer. Your board meetings, management committees and strategy workshops should be conducted with the speed (urgency), focus and teamwork of a pit stop.
Imagine your team working like a pit crew – focused on winning, working effectively as a team and characterized by urgency and a bias for action. The pit crew is the new standard for management team performance.
*Growth Pitstopä (link to www.growthpitstop.com)
Ray Collis is a Facilitator and Director at The ASG Group and the author of 3 books . He facilitates on the IMI Diploma in International Business Development and with graduates on the International Growth programmes.