Every Sunday night in the summer, I hear the continuous “whir” of stock car racing in the background. I live several miles from the speedway, but there is an unmistakable noise each week for several hours.
What I find fascinating about stock car racing is that the chassis, suspension and engine on these cars are architecturally identical on all of the vehicles. It is the origin of the word “stock” car — the car was procured from the normal stock vs. a custom-designed racing car. In fact, the technological elements resemble the standard cars in use by regular drivers.*
This leaves all the differentiation to a strict set of allowable changes, but mostly the success is up to the driver.
Much of the same is true in organizations. Often, you are providing the same physical product as a competitor and norms require you to remain within standard parameters. What differentiates you is how you deliver your service and how your people “drive” the organization.
Invest as much as you can in your drivers. Even on the county speedway, the checkered flag only waves for one.
— beth triplett