Why teamwork is important for innovation — Just look at Formula 1

Think of an innovative industry and the chances are you will think of motor racing. Great looking cars, cutting-edge materials, first glimpses of the latest advances in automotive engineering. Year in year out, cars that combine the best of new technology and design. But what does it take for a race car to win a race?

Is success down to fast cars or fast teams?

Its arguable that the skill and dedication of the race team is more impactful than the performance and design inside the car. And its arguably the same with any innovation.

“I put people above everything” Pat Symonds, Williams team.

You need the equivalent of a high performance race team to succeed in innovation. Look for it in any innovative situation. Who is the team that has taken that cutting edge technology, tested and iterated it and turned it into a winning machine? How much data measurement, feedback and adjustment has the team done to improve the car that was first released on the pre-season test track? How much has the team customised the car to the conditions of any one race, or the needs of an individual driver, each time the car goes out to give it a chance of coming first?

The answer is clearly so much that the manufacturer doesn’t hand the keys to any good driver and expect them to win races without a successful team. The same goes for developing any good technology.

For great innovation focus on building a winning team not just a fast car.

It takes top performing people and not just great technology to produce race winning machines.

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