The Performance Project: Performance at the Edge

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When you think about F1 motor racing, what comes to mind? Perhaps you think about the noise of the cars, that powerful deep roar as they whizz around.  Or perhaps you think about the danger, the high adrenaline?  But do you think about all the work that goes into making the cars and the teams work at optimum levels of performance?

People who attended the launch of the Performance Project Group were in for a treat when they heard Professor Mark Jenkins, Formula 1 enthusiast, demonstrate how organisations can achieve high performance in dynamic environments using motor racing as an example.  

Did you know changing four wheels can take under two seconds? How can it be done?

 

Mark highlighted three key points:

  • Constant learning: motor racing teams learn from everyone and everywhere
  • Focus: you need to know what you have to achieve and have clarity of purpose
  • Winning culture: this includes constant communication, a no-blame philosophy, adopting a long-term perspective and having a one-team mind-set. (The driver is important but so is the rest of the team.)

Of course, teams are in competition with each other and each team aims to improve every time they race, searching for the tenth of a second that will give them the edge.

Mark described how after each race there is a detailed review, whether the team has been successful or not. Data is collected on an array of aspects and this is used to establish what happened and why, and to make decisions. Problems are analysed but the focus is always on the issue and not on the individual. This is important as people need to feel they can be open about their own performance in the team. Without this honesty it is difficult to learn because everyone will be trying to cover their own backs. This is one of the biggest differences between low and high performing teams.

If you would like to know more about The Performance Project Group please contact c.angus@cranfield.ac.uk

 

Cranfield’s Strategic Performance Management programme is designed to help Directors, managers, project leaders and senior line managers who are responsible for implementing strategy, designing and refreshing their scorecards or developing their organisational performance management system.

Download a course brochure

 

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