I'm willing to bet you've never uttered this sentence: "That race car just taught me how I can run my business more effectively!" I am also willing to bet those who work around the new Formula One race track in Austin, Texas actually have.
You see, when it comes to auto racing, communication is equal parts integral and commonplace. You have the pit crews talking to the drivers, the pit crew talking to race officials, race officials communicating with security, security communicating with pit crews - you get the idea.
So what can a race car teach us about our business and communication? Everything.
In autoracing, seconds count. A delay in the pit, a wrong move that veers you inches off course can change the outcome of a race. Speed matters. For Formula One - the institution- it's not just about speed on the race track - but with communication. It matters for those running the track to gauge track conditions. Disparate teams and groups talk with Formula One officials. And perhaps most importantly, Formula One connecting with its dedicated fan base, ensuring those watching overseas in India, England, France, Germany and Italy are able to follow their favorite drivers without leaving the comfort of their chair. Think about your business and how downtime could mean a several-thousand dollar difference. And just as each team is communicating with each other on the race track, so too do global businesses with each other daily.
So how does Formula One do it? How does this multi-billion dollar business with high-profile partners, including race teams, sponsors and media organizations connect both internally and with its active fan base?
It starts with reliability. Formula One delivers data and communication channels in a secure manner that feeds the consumer's appetite; by offering around-the-clock entertainment through mobile video traffic. One way Formula One is delivering these experiences is through the use of fiber optics. Ten years ago, communicating with fans meant them reading the Internet stories the next day or watching the race on TV. Satellite was largely responsible and that meant decent quality but limited options for viewing. But technology has advanced so incredibly today, that new devices with larger screens and high definition pixilation have commanded more bandwidth - more than some satellite can hold. And with more fans with advanced devices for watching races, Formula One needs to be connected 24-7 and providing the top quality experiences.
Talk about being in constant communication!
It is this freedom - to watch content where and when we want it that captures an audience hungry for a good race. In just moments, fans can follow the action in real-time from all corners of the globe. It is this reliability, the love of the adrenaline rush, which keeps fans coming back. And in order for all of that to be successful - in order to have the best product on the track, that same reliable communication needs to be done on the ground as well.
It's the same story for your business. Much like a Formula One race requires a strong communications between drivers and their sponsors; global businesses must form a strong connection with their customers and peers that are both exemplary and reliable. Global businesses must be prepared for unkown obstacles that could threaten their customer relationship and public trust yet stay competitive. If you walk around your office, chances are each employee will have a smart phone and likely a 4G device. Employees are looking to emulate their consumer experience in the enterprise. That means high definition devices that allow for video collaboration, always being reachable and having a desktop experience while on the train, bus, plane or car. Being able to connect with customers and peers in a reliable way (globally, confidently & seamlessly) in equal parts integral and commonplace.
So as I see it, Formula One truly is on the right track. Perhaps one might even suggest their in a Pole Position? Advanced communications are coming. They are literally drafting behind you. So what are you waiting for?
Hop in the front seat and buckle up.