Indy 500 Lessons

Posted Friday, May 27, 2011 by Scott Good in General

The Indy 500 is this weekend.  Going an average of 225 miles per hour, the 500 miles is traversed in about two hours and fifteen minutes.  Does this mean that the race is more equivalent to a sprint or a marathon?  The answer is, "Yes."  The Indy 500 requires the razor sharp attention and presence of mind of sprinting and the endurance of a marathon.  Racer Patti Sue Plummer once said, "Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves.  It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go.  It helps us to find out what we are made of.  This is what we do.  This is what it's all about."  Whether a sprint or a marathon, this saying rings true. 

Think about what goes into a successful racing team ... A driver (sure, the focal point), the guys who function as the pit crew during the race, a man or woman who drives the trucks who transport all the equipment from city to city, accountants, lawyers, marketing people who promote the sponsors, people who clean the garages, schedulers, and the person or organization who sponsors the whole thing.  Now consider your own business.  You probably have the same - or equivalent - functions:  C-suite leaders, accountants, lawyers, support people, and the woman or man out front who is actually getting the work or generating the revenue.  If the Indy car driver fails, they all fail.  If your salesman (or, "rainmaker") fails, you all fail.  If the supporting team fails, all fail, as well.

So how are you running YOUR race?  If you are at a hospital, do you have a clear understanding of the community needs?  Without it, your outreach efforts are wasting money.  Do you have a lot of budget "fluff" or low performance goals?  If so, you are either lying to yourself or underperforming (or both!).  If you are an educational facility, is your department adequately staffed and fairly compensated given the tasks you are required to do?  What about you folks at a manufacturing company?  You can metaphorically live or die based on the optimization of equipment use (having formerly run a manufacturing company, I know this to be true!).  Well, what if others within your organization are underperforming, what do you do about it?  To "run your race" effectively, your entire team needs to pull together and function as a well-oiled ... Indy car!

Hospitals and non-profit organizations ... Conduct a community needs assessment that actually helps your organization function more efficiently.  Don't just do one because the State makes you do it; don't waste time and money doing so!

Educational institutions ... Figure out how to optimize your administrative resources, distribute tasks effectively, use budget dollars so that you get the most mileage not just the most noise (borrowing a car racing analogy).

Manufacturer ... Rely on the engineers to optimize the equipment.  YOU take responsibility for optimizing your employee communications and marketing efforts.

Crescendo Consulting Group ... we can help you accomplish these tasks (and more), possibly save yourself some money, and "have a better race" at the same time.  

-PattiSue Plumer, U.S. Olympian "Ask yourself: 'Can I give more?'. The answer is usually: 'Yes'."
-Paul Tergat, Kenyan professional marathoner "The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
-John Bingham, running speaker and writer    


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