Operating Model Lessons from the Fast Paced World of F1 – The First Lap

Operating Model Lessons from the Fast Paced World of F1 – The First Lap

The First Lap: Where operating with uncertainty has always been the norm.

New rules, new challenges

Ready for the unknown

Formula 1 has long been looked upon as an industry where the teams thrive or fail based on their ability to continuously identify and deliver the smallest of improvements in performance.

But there is an external force that acts as a leveller across the paddocks; every season the F1 governing body applies new rules and regulations that must be adhered to, from safety and design features, to tyres and dimensions. So, no matter how big your budget is, you can only do so much to get one up on the other teams.

This is all put in place to keep the sport competitive and ensure races don’t become boring, with one or two teams dominating every season. This in turn gives fans the excitement they’re seeking and advertisers the eyeballs they’re willing to pay for.

So what does this have to do with the situation firms like yours find themselves in?

When the F1 governing body lays down the new season’s rules, with budgets capped, the teams already have an operating model that goes into action to use the best talent they can afford to analyse every piece of data they have at a micro level and to then work as a well oiled machine to bring to reality the best car possible to meet the challenge of the season ahead.

And once they have their hugely powerful, highly tuned cars ready to race, the laser focus of the business and every team member stays in place, from pit crew to operations and drivers, all playing their role to keep squeezing every extra piece of performance out of the vehicles.

We know that Covid-19 has hit the economy hard and the ‘teams’ in it with an unexpected blow, but in reality this is an opportunity to look at your operating model and double down on what you need to do in order to get back to being able to compete in the market, as well as instilling a way of working across your business that ingrains an ethos of continual improvement within your team members.

And that’s why we’ve put this guide together. You need to act fast and this will give you a direction to start, as well as giving you an insight into how we think and how we at Transforming IT can help you get back on track.

Covid-19 Impact: Where do you stand?

Planning your route to financial stability and growth.

With TIME and MONEY being the two key aspects that pretty much drive the imperatives in business, your strategy to reach pre-Covid 19 financial stability and growth depends on:

  • How deep the financial impact of COVID-19 is on your business?
  • How long will it take your business to recover?

Depending upon the degree of impact, our CV-19 Recovery Strategy Grid gives an indication of whether your discussions need to focus on an approach to reimagine, replan or restructure your strategy…or just keep reassuring everyone around you.


Share this grid with your other leaders and ask these 2 questions:

  • Where our business is on this grid now?
  • Do we know the capability of our IT operating model and technology infrastructure to help us recover and grow?

 Technology: The enabler of change

Are you positioned for successful change?

Our experience, as well as the success stories of many, many companies across all industries, shows that your IT operating model and the technology infrastructure you’re running are critical to your performance and key enablers to successfully changing tack when you need to.

As with the set-up of Formula 1 teams, continuous improvement should be embedded in the way your organisation operates, because not only does it keep you striving forward, taking advantage of every gain you can find, but it also embeds a way of working that expertly analyses your situation and can plan and undertake the changes needed to not just survive, but thrive when even the most unexpected challenges are faced.

This is where you now get your first reality check. How well has your organisation been able to address the threats it is facing from the Covid-19 situation? Is it able to work as a collective team, using your IT operating model and current technology infrastructure to proactively plan and deliver a way forward?

If you still have question marks over what you can do to recover and grow, that needs to act as a red flag to you and your senior leadership team. It is a warning that your previous model of working, and possibly the approach to technology is way off what it needs to be for you to address the current situation, let alone to be competitive through the next decade.

This isn’t necessarily to say that you need to be thinking about heavy investment and ripping out and replacing with new, but what it does mean is that you need to review your IT operations in line with your strategy to move forward, identifying the gaps to success and planning your route of change.

The answer? Bring out the best traits of the Covid-19 Generation – common goal and collective effort.

Embed an understanding of common goals to give purpose and direction, not just for now, but to also paint the picture of how this will help the organisation succeed way into the future.

And to address those still focusing on self, clarify the outcome of collaborative effort for everyone at an individual level and set the expectation of how all stakeholders need to engage in the process to put a marker in the sand of pulling together.

This isn’t achieved with a simple message, it needs to be managed from a place of knowledge and with this being an essential change to your way of working, external facilitators with expertise in the subject matter and no emotional connection to your business, are best positioned to oversee and guide the journey…..

Next time we explore the people factor at play in these Teams…



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