The session was hugely insightful and very educational… and whilst I’m not going to share the details verbatim, I thought I would share some of the very thought provoking statements like:
“The same old thinking gets the same old results … you need new thinking to get new results”
“Creativity must be present at every level of every technical part of the organisation”
“Even a mature innovative team need a coach otherwise it’s easy to innovate badly”
“A common mistake is to just let people loose with innovation”
“No great website is conceived by more than three people”
“Passionate creatures do not follow scripts”
Towards the end of the session Anne went on to share what she looks for when recruiting innovative people for Kone and how these qualities differ from the traditional qualities that many businesses still seek today:
|Traditional Qualities||Innovative Qualities|
|Risk adverse (No, can’t do that because)||Let’s have a go|
|Leadership Stereotype||Passionate Creatives|
This really was an excellent session that struck a chord with me, which qualities do you look for?
I’ve had a great time writing this story. I set out to write about the cars I’ve had over the past 35 years, but 4000 words later, I ended up writing about the many fond memories I’ve had around car ownership and life in general. I’d love to think my kids read this story in 50 years time when all cars are made of plastic and powered by sherbet or some other wonder fuel.
Another video post from my visit to the British GP at Silverstone this year. This time it’s looking into the Red Bull garage.
Of all the teams in the pit lane they looked (and sounded) the most relaxed. Surely you would expect the opposite effect with Red Bull!
Did they know Mark Webber was going to win?
Following on from my “Petrolhead Dream Heaven” post a few days ago I promised to share some of the videos I took from inside the Marussia garage. The first is of the mechanics making some last minute changes to the cars before practice starts:
Not long after here’s Charles Pic leaving the garage (how clean is that floor?)
I think everyone who attended the British GP or watched it on TV will remember just how wet it was and this next clip shows the Marussia following a Sauber around Club corner… it was might slippery
A few laps later and Charles was back into the garage, whereby an army of mechanics armed with paper towels had the car dried off in a flash:
I have to say these videos were taken using and iPhone and are pretty good.
I think if I had rocked up with a full blown camera rig they might not have let me into the garage.
From the British Grand Prix, the safety car and the medical car having a race…
What if they crash?
Not to worry they have two safety cars…
But they only have one Medical Car :-/
Most people normally associate F1 with the world of designer attire, fine wine, and of course a fair amount of corporate schmoozing. Whilst I don’t have problem with that and chance would be a fine thing, the part of F1 that I really wanted to experience is the one where the race engineers and mechanics hang out, the place where the cars are built .
Well, I was very fortunate earlier this year when my ambition turned into a reality. I was invited along to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone for the practice day as a guest of the Marussia F1 Team.
Those of you who follow F1 will know the garage is situated adjacent to the finish line in an area of the track called the paddock. On arriving at the track, my first impression was how much effort goes into the security operation, i.e. four stops for routine checks in the car and one electronic gate later and I’m in.
My first impression of the paddock was the sheer size and opulence of the so called motor homes that sit behind the garages. These things are absolutely huge and to think they break them down, ferry them around Europe, and set them up again in time for the next race is amazing.
As I walk along the paddock I get an immediate sense of proximity to the teams, the drivers, and a fair amount of celebrities. In fact I don’t have to walk far to witness the stars of F1 appearing as frequently as the characters at Disneyland to give interviews and photo opportunities to the army of journalists and photographers. This is a serious business and the PR machine needs to be fuelled.
Everyone knows that F1 is a mega money sport and now I’m seeing why, not only does it take an army of people to make it happen, but there’s also a massive logistics operation in place behind the scenes. Lorry loads of high tech equipment, lorry loads of tyres, and a huge catering operation to feed the teams and their guests.
Up to this point my only experience of the garage, like most people, has been confined to the small opening at the front from which the cars emerge and the mechanics change tyres etc. However, there’s a huge operation going on that you can’t see.
I’m into the garage now and my first impression is how clean everything is, I mean clinically clean like some sort of laboratory. Did you know they repaint the inside of the garage before every F1 Race? Well you do now and I thought they only did this for the queen?
There are engineers and mechanics, from Cosworth in the case of Marussia, working on spare engines (I counted three), pumping warm oil through them so they can be fitted to one of the cars and are ready to go immediately.
There were experts analysing fluids from the engine and transmission for evidence of microscopic wear and damage to mechanical parts.
There were engineers building bits of the car and testing if they work better, worse or the same as the one it replaced.
And there are the engineers manning the nerve centre of the whole operation, monitoring all of the telemetry from the cars and advising the drivers what changes they can make to get the absolute most out of the car.
Important note… this shot is taken at an angle whereby you can’t see any sensitive information, I believe this wasn’t the case for the McLaren shot that got Lewis Hamilton into hot water after he tweeted it to the world (all of the other teams).
Moving forward to the front of the garage and the two race cars are surrounded by an army of mechanics and an impressive array of technology. One thing that struck me is that despite the number of people nobody got in anyone else’s way. Everyone instinctively knew where everyone else was and the whole operation was working with military precision.
Next I’m out front the Marussia garage and had a walk along the pit lane and this was when I heard the deep throaty roar of a Mercedes 6.3L, yes it was the safety car and it was thundering past the finishing line like a bat out of hell. It was closely followed by the medical car which also sounded awesome. Something I didn’t know is that they have two safety cars both identical and these travel around the world with the F1 season.
I have to say the most relaxed team in the pit lane was the Red bull team with (music) blasting out as the mechanics put the finishing touches to their cars.
I’m back in the Marussia garage and it’s time for free practice, the cars are readied, the drivers are inside the cars and then with an ear splitting roar the engines burst into life, I can’t think of any words to describe what it feels like to stand five feet behind a F1 car when it starts up other than maybe spine chillingly amazing.
After a little while the cars are back and the mechanics swarm around them to make minor adjustments to the setup and in a flash they’re off again. This happens over and over again in the morning practice and again in the afternoon.
In between all of this I’m made to feel very welcome by the Marussia team and as the day comes to an end its time for me to set off on the long drive back to Newcastle. The drive home is another story altogether due to the fact that Silverstone had turned into a mud bath and nobody was going anywhere fast. However, none of that mattered as I’d just had a day that I will remember for the rest of my life.
Thank you Mike Scudamore of Marussia for helping me realise a long standing ambition
We’ve been a customer of Scottish Power for a few years now and we’ve generally been happy with their service. However a few weeks back during our normal process of reading the meter and entering the readings into the website we hit a problem when the website wouldn’t accept the figures and advised we call them up.
We rang up Scottish Power and spoke to a chap called Adam Heywood. Adam advised that there was a problem with our reading and because it was so far away from our normal usage pattern the website wouldn’t accept it.
Adam suggested there may be a problem with the meter and advised us to send him a photo of the meter (iphone is ever so handy for this), wait one more week, read the meter again and he would ring us back at a predetermined time to compare the new figures with our normal usage profile.
At the predetermined time, not a minute later, Adam rang and we gave him the new reading. He said he’d have to speak to a colleague and he’d get back to us, and he did within a couple of minutes, to tell us that it was indeed the meter and we needed a new one.
He arranged a convenient time for us to have the replacement fitted and that’s where the story ends.
So what’s excellent about this?
Adam got back to us exactly when he said he would, how many times does that happen?
Whilst Adam had to seek advice from someone else in the company he didn’t pass us over to someone else and forget about us, he took ownership of our problem until it was resolved.
Throughout the engagement we felt like Adam was working for us and not against us.
So, thank you Adam and well done Scottish Power for this excellent experience. I hope all your agents share the same customer care mind set as Adam.