Comms and leadership lessons from motorsport | S4 E1

First published: 3 January, 2023

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Engaging Internal Comms Series 4
Engaging Internal Comms Series 4
Comms and leadership lessons from motorsport | S4 E1

Comms and leadership lessons from motorsport

Regardless of what they do, the goal for many organisations is to make sure that their employees and their team members are all aligned and pointing in the same direction towards a common goal. It’s often difficult to find any useful parallels within our own industries because it can be a congested market. In addition, competitors aren’t always willing to share with us what they’re up to and what they’re doing, and trying to find another industry which we can learn from can often be a challenge.

The world of competitive sport is not always a great analogy to use because within sport there are often clear ways of winning and losing. There is usually a hierarchy of who is doing well and who isn’t and that’s often clear for people to see. However, I was at a client’s conference recently and I heard someone speaking who had a huge amount of experience working within Formula One. Now, full disclosure here, I am a Formula One fan myself. I love Formula One and I’ve been a fan for well over 40 years. I did wrestle with the fact that this guest’s contributions might only be only be to satisfy my own interest and my own desire for Formula One knowledge. However, when I saw him speak at the conference, I realised that what he was sharing with us was massively relevant to other industries as well as to other sectors.

So what we’re going to be looking at today is some of the lessons that we can learn from Formula One in terms of communications. We will be discussing it from an engagement and an alignment perspective, using examples form a highly competitive, highly visual, very glamorous industry. We’ll also discuss how we can use some of the lessons that Formula One deploys week in, week out, successfully year after year. We’ll also discuss how the most successful teams deliver consistent results with very large organisations.

We may assume that Formula One teams are only a handful of people who we see at the Track on the TV, but there are often many thousands of people who work in a Formula One team. How do we make sure that the alignment exists between the people who are working at the Track and the people who never get to the Track, who are working in the ‘back office’, but delivering things that without their work the team couldn’t succeed? So we’re going to be exploring these issues with someone who not only has vast experience within the sport, but also knows some of the key players, has seen not only what makes for success but also what makes for failure within this very dynamic sport. So I hope you find this interview interesting and useful.

Guest profile

Mark Gallagher is Managing Director of Performance Insights Limited. He is also a Professional Conference Speaker on the business lessons to be learned from Formula One, talking to multi-national companies about key business topics from Leadership to Team Work, Risk Management and Safety Culture, Big Data and Data Analytics, Innovation, Client Centricity and Compliance. Mark is also a highly experienced manager of motor sport programmes including 2 decades spent in senior roles within Formula One. He has a strong reputation for delivering results against a backdrop of complex commercial and operational requirements. Mark was the former head of marketing on the management board of Jordan Grand Prix, head of commercial affairs for Red Bull Racing and business unit leader for Cosworth F1. He is a member of FIA technical working groups. He has also been a Formula One commentator and analyst on BBC 5 Live in 2015-17, and a regular contributor on F1 industry topics to Sky Sports F1, BBC News, CNN, Channel 4 News, CNBC, Al Jazeera TV.

Useful links

Link to a relevant episode of the podcast: https://thebigpicturepeople.co.uk/blog/podcast/employee-communications-in-complex-organisations-s2-e23/

Mark’s LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markgallagherf1/

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