Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Time to Make A Pit Stop



Here at swim upstream we are all about inclusion & would be more than excited to share other insights & perspectives if they are brought to our attention and we see the value in sharing. That said, today's blog is brought to you by Jason Sarai - a huge swim upstream supporter, not to mention a genuine leader & educator.

The definition of a Pit stop is; “When a racecar stops for service during competition for fuel, tires, chassis adjustments and mechanical problems”

If you have ever seen a Nascar or Formula one race you would fully appreciate how vital they are to the success of their team, driver and to their sponsor.

Executing a successful pit cannot be done alone — it takes an entire
 race team working together from the start. The team includes a crew chief that makes the calls and determines the overall pit stop strategy; the spotter who notifies the driver 
when it is clear and safe to pull into the pit road and make its stop; the Pit support crew members (5-6people) hold a sign board to
 attract the driver and show him exactly where to stop, wash the windshield,
 get a drink to the driver, change the tires, topping off the fuel, make adjustments to the chassis and cleaning the cooling air tanks. From when the driver stops at the pit, all of the above is done in less than 14 seconds!!

How can a group of people of this size manage to do all of these tasks within such a short period of time?

Here are the steps that set them up for success:

1. Prepared at all times. Before, During and After the Pit Stop
2. Attention to details
3. Timing is crucial
4. Everything has to be executed as planned - Each crew member must do his/her tasks without any error so that everyone can complete their tasks without any conflicts or interruption
5. Communication is essential - It is the key to their success
6. Training and Practice - Practice every move and task till perfection. Each individual understands their role as well as the person next to them therefore allowing a Standardized method of work.
7. Have alternate plans for last minute/second changes
8. Have clear expectations for each member of the team
9. Review after race of what went well and what still needs work
10. Do not blame anyone. Find out the root of the problem and fix it. You succeed and fail as a team.
11. Maintain the team’s integrity at all times

After reading the points above, one can see why Pit crews are able to do so many tasks and roles with such efficiency on top of being done in short duration of time. It is for these reasons that many companies around the world are now choosing to change their business models around that of a Racecar Pit Crew.

The amazing thing about race car Pit Crews is that this same approach can not only bring success to businesses, but also to relationships and families. If everyone was to understand their individual roles and strengths while acknowledging what each and everyone else brought to the table, the easier it would be to accomplish any task or challenge at hand.

Preparation
Attention
Accountability
Practice/Training
Communication
Integrity

The KEYS to success

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