The right formula for strategy

Ever since I used to watch Gerhard Berger and Jean Alesi race for Ferrari I have loved the world of Formula 1. To begin with, it was the romantic dream as a child of becoming a Formula 1 engineer. It was the thrill of the cars, the noise, the adrenaline and racing that filled my every thought and ambition.

Alas it was never to be. Even though I did not achieve my dream, I have remained a fan of the sport and follow it closely. Over the years, as I have grown, so has my view of the sport and what excites me know is significantly different to when I was a boy.

As exciting as the racing is, it is the teamwork and strategy that fascinates me these days. The levels of observation, analysis and iteration at such a micro level that happens during race weekends is phenomenal.

Every member of the team is analysing everything about their specific responsibilities which are all interrelated and interdependent across the entire operation. It is such a complex system for performance and a prime example of how you can implement micro level changes to your strategy based upon the live-time analysis that can have drastic effects upon the longer term strategic goals.

F1 teams are comfortable making hundreds of these micro shifts in strategy over the period of a race weekend. So I wonder why similar sized teams and organisations outside of the F1 world struggle to implement such practices when it comes to their own strategies? Why does the word strategy have so many complicated connotations within many organisations? Why aren’t leaders comfortable implementing shifts in strategy?

The same can be said for American Football. I used to watch the Oakland Raiders play on Channel 4 on a Sunday afternoon but never really understood what was going on. A few years ago I watched a Netflix series that followed the Arizona Cardinals for a season. I fell in love with the team and now my understanding of the game was so much more, I began to follow the sport avidly.

As much as I admire the physiological efforts that go into each and every game, it is the strategy that enthrals me. Each team has so many people observing, analysing and making changes at the dynamic, micro level that are having massive outcomes that affect the macro vision of the franchise.

If the world of sport can implement such tactical level empowerment and achieve greatness then why aren’t more organisations adopting similar practices?

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