Diary of an Innovation Tourist – Hendrick Motorsports
Day 2 saw us leave the fun and play of Google and Survey Monkey, as a driver of innovation to a dramatically more high performance and team driven approach to innovation with visits to Intuitive Surgical, CISCO, Hendrick Motor Sports and Stanford D. School.
Next stop on the 2nd day of our Innovation Study Tour was IDEO, who were hosting a session being run by Andy Papa, Director of Human Performance for Hendrick Motorsports. Hendrick Motorsports is the leading NASCAR team in the USA.
Andy facilitated an experiential prototyping experience of a different kind.We were split into 8 teams and raced the clock and each other to see which team could change a wheel on a NASCAR, in our reality pit stop, the fastest.
So what could we learn from Andy and Hendrick Motorsports in this roll your sleeves up pit stop experience? Here are some uncut bite sized learning from our NASCAR experience:
The fastest teams tried out different techniques and swapped people’s roles around in the practice sessions. In business, we so often forget to experiment early on for fear of failure, but it is not until launch that failure actually matters.
There are no bad projects
Whoever thought changing a tyre could be so much fun? We learnt there is no such thing as bad projects, just bad ways to set them up.
High performing teams
In a high performing team every person and every step has to be top notch.
The overall performance is affected by the worst performance. You need to develop your weakest link or replace them. Have the tough conversations with them and if they don’t want to keep running with the ball then give them permission to leave.
Over the wall (outside the box) thinking
Hendrick Motorsports became the leaders in NASCAR racing when they moved from having mechanics run the pit stop to athletes – disrupting what was industry best practice.
-Nathan ( @birdsclearing )
By Nathan Baird, Global Capability Director