Bev White

My name is Bev White and I am the CEO of Harvey Nash Group, a $1bn global technology recruitment, IT solutions and leadership services group with 36 offices across the USA, Europe and Asia

What we can learn from Formula 1

Across the world Harvey Nash Group is buzzing with activity. This week we had kick-off virtual meetings in Germany and Switzerland, Belgium, USA, a global marketing meeting, and just about now when you receive this email Innovation Labs will be hosting a session focused on innovating the client experience. We announced promotions, celebrated a fantastic new partnership with Facebook, welcomed new colleagues to our businesses and welcomed back returning colleagues too. We wish our colleagues in Vietnam a very happy lunar new year, chúc mừng năm mới.

Each of the kick offs were full of celebration of the many successes of last year. It was wonderful to hear the stories, and what struck me was that these successes didn’t happen by accident. They were the result of great work, collaboration and – most importantly - countless steps of preparation.

This is where for me Formula 1 is a good analogy to draw on. I was lucky enough one evening this week to be invited to join a small virtual session with McLaren Formula 1. On the zoom call was Daniel Ricciardo the latest driver for the team. A 31 year old Australian driver, ex Red Bull and recently from Team Renault. With Daniel on the call was Zak Brown the CEO of McLaren F1 team and Mark Norris the Race Operations Director. The F1 Season starts again next month. Daniel spoke about the many hours he has been in the simulator, getting to grips with the virtual car setup and practising countless tracks, pit stops, race starts. All of that before he has even stepped in this season’s car. He spoke about the difference in this car versus his last team car, but he also spoke about his fitness both mentally and physically for the season ahead and the importance of being ready for anything.

Then came the magic.

He talked about the preparation with the team, the importance of each person in the team, their responsibilities and the way they will work together. The car and the driver are an essential combination but it is the addition of a well-motivated and prepared team that makes a winning combination.

As we start to accelerate through the year I think we are ready, we know what we need to do, we know that we can achieve our goals when we work together and we prepare every day to be just that little better than we were the day before. It’s all about incremental gains. We will hit challenges as the year unfolds, most years there is something unexpected that occurs. Being well prepared, as we are, means that we are agile and can adapt to the new circumstances and overcome whatever comes up. I have seen and hear at the kick-offs just how well prepared we are. Let’s go!

One more thing, let’s make sure that we don’t forget to have fun on the way. I have heard so many great stories from around the world about the enjoyability of our work together, even though at the moment it is mostly virtual in many countries. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that we all need moments of laughter and enjoyment to help us through the tougher times.

Please do look after each other and keep safe and well.

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