Exceptional Teamwork – Formula 1 Pit Stop

Exceptional Teamwork – Formula 1 Pit Stop

Have a best friend? Will start-up! A good friend is turning co-founder these days. It’s mostly good – there is camaraderie and trust to begin with.

As things settle, it’s time to form larger teams.

Who should handle sales or business development or hiring? What kind of people do we want? How do we want them to operate together. Teams. There are so many kinds of teams. And one that captures our collective imagination is that kick-ass Formula 1 Pit Stop Team.


Can start-ups build teams like those?

The key characteristics of a Formula 1 Pit Stop Team are:

1. Complimentary capability

2. Flexibility

3. Speed

If you have ever seen the overhead shots of a F1 pit stop, you will see 16+ people including three per wheel, one each for front and rear jacks, an extra man with engine start gear, and the lollipop man holding the driver in the pit) perform a highly orchestrated ballet of sorts. It is a very short ballet, usually less than four seconds, which allows the team to change all four tires and make slight wing adjustments (and in previous years, refuel the car.) This teamwork helps the driver get into and out of the pits ready to go back out onto the track and challenge for victory.

What is Pit-stop team made up of?

1. Trust – The members need to overcome the need for individual invulnerability to make sure that the team is invulnerable. In a Pit Stop Team, the guy ensuring that nut runners are working fine in the background is as important as the one changing the tyres in wide view of the cameras.

2. Non-negotiable commitment to the common goal – The common goal here is to get the race car out of the pit stop in less than 4 seconds.

3. Team members have to become selfless subordinating their individual aspirations to the larger cause – Everybody wants to change the tyres…that’s what is visible to the spectators. Nobody wants to be inside the store room, getting a spare part. But in a Pit Stop Team the guy who is best in changing types gets to do it.

In the initial days the founding team should quickly identify core and complimentary capabilities to allocate the overall responsibility areas. At the same time the team members should be flexible to provide support in any area that is capacity constrained. For example, in early days, sales / business development is the most important area for any firm. While different people may have different responsibility area, every guy should be a salesperson. Similarly, for hiring for key positions, every person in senior management should tap into their networks to find people with good reference.

The best team moves like an amoeba to ensure quick outcomes with higher effectiveness.

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” –Andrew Carnegie

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of konektUP. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of konektUP for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

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