This is My Story:
“I am NOT a race fan.”
I know, that sounds strange, but it is fundamentally the #1 reason why the Pit Crew Challenge has been so successful with organizations all over North America who want their people to see teamwork from a completely different and innovative perspective.
This is My Story:
Growing up in front of a television in the ’70s & ’80s served me better than my parents ever anticipated. Since we only had one TV, it was clearly Dad’s; positioned directly in front of his recliner with everyone else watching from the peripheryWhen Dad entered the living room, two things happened immediately: one, you vacated his recliner; and two, you handed over any remote control to the TV. And on Sunday afternoons, that meant watching NASCAR. For him and my brother, that was mighty good television. For me, it was a complete and utter waste of time. Could not understand the fuss and excitement about a sport that started in one place, and three hours later, ended in exactly the same place it started. And doing nothing but turning left! Most times, Dad would fall asleep in his recliner, the sound of his snoring periodically eclipsed by the roar of the cars around the track.
Fast forward 20 years, and I’m in the field of management consulting learning the hard way that if you really want to differentiate yourself in the training & development market, you better provide outcomes that others are not hitting, but also where a real need does exist. I recognized that concepts being taught around the art of team building were being stifled by “classroom-only”solutions and settings. Intuitively, I wanted desperately to shake up this delivery model, but the real question was how? And what client would be willing to go along with a crazy idea? Who would be willing to take the risk and jump into the unknown?The Turn
Recalling those Sunday’s in front of the TV with Dad watching NASCAR and how those pit crews were so effective and high performing sparked an idea. Actually a flood of ideas: “What if we brought a race car in here for the day? What if your team was as efficient as a pit crew? Are there universal principles from high-performing pit crews that could be applied to any organization?”
With a willing client and a chance to experiment with a blank page, Pit Crew Challenge was born.
22 years and 20,000 participants later, this one-of-a kind, original program has changed many companies and people for the better, but its also changed mine. I’m now a big fan of all things relating to high performing cultures and experiential learning and that includes the hidden nuances discovered in high-level stock car racing where big money and careers are on the line each weekend in front of millions of people.
My team and I travel throughout North America teaching the principles of high-performing cultures, flat organizations, breaking silos, the ability to be fast, agile and adapt to this New Economy while integrating all generations in a common purpose and cause. We do this through using the real-life metaphor of a race car pit crew; customizing the learnings to specific issues while the Pit Crew Challenge race team teaches otherwise ordinary people how to perform like a real-life pit crew faced with the pressure of performing as one under simulated battle conditions.
Many CEO’s, senior executives and learning professionals have told us the Pit Crew Challenge has set the highest bar in the business by which experiential education is judged and effectively implemented. We’re humbled by the accolades and honored to share the experience with teams that are anxious to “get on the same page” and start humming on all eight cylinders.
While Dad is no longer with us, he did see the impact of our program all over the continent, but not sure if he ever knew it stemmed from those Sunday afternoons in front of the TV.
Connect with me to see how the Pit Crew Challenge or experiential learning can align with your learning and development program. And don’t forget to subscribe to our blog and stay up-to-date with the latest innovations and ideas on developing high performing cultures and creating innovative learning experiences.
Bob Parker, CSP
The Pit Crew Challenge