Teamwork in Motorsports
Motorsports is a very competitive sport and business. Forumla 1 teams have annual budgets that can easily exceed $150,000,000. So, they are highly motivated to get the most effective use of their money and resources.
The goal of the team is to win races and to win championships. Motorsports teams spend hundreds of hours designing, building, testing, and perfecting each aspect of the car.
Nothing demonstrates teamwork better than a pit stop, when 16+ people perform highly choreographed activities in seconds. This teamwork helps the driver get into and out of the pits ready to go back out onto the track and challenge for victory.
There are many other team members in Motorsports who are designing, building, manufacturing and testing parts, and others that are marketing, administering, financing, and managing the business. All of this effort contributes to building and maintaining the team and the drive for success.
Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing
Forming a team takes time, and members wont perform well together right from the start. A team goes through stages as they get to know each other and begin to develop trust.
Bruce Tuckman’s Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing Model describes the stages and can help a team get to high performance quickly.
The forming stage begins when the team meets and establishes the goals and outlines the plan and tasks. Team members are strangers and tend to behave independently. They are focused on themselves and their responsibilities. The conversation is about the project, its scope, an approach and the obstacle.
In this stage, most team members are positive, polite and excited.
The team moves into the storming phase, where people start to form opinions and push against the boundaries established in the forming stage. This is the stage where many teams fail. Storming often starts where there is a conflict between team members' natural working styles. Disagreements and personality clashes often show up at this stage and must be resolved or the team cannot move forward. Tolerance of each team member and their differences should be emphasized; without tolerance and patience the team will fail. This phase can become destructive to the team and will lower motivation if allowed to get out of control.
This happens when the team is aware of competition and they share a common goal. In this stage, all team members take the responsibility and have the ambition to work for the success of the team's goals. They start tolerating the whims and fancies of the other team members. They accept others as they are and make an effort to move on. This is when people start to resolve their differences, appreciate colleagues' strengths, and respect the leader. People develop a stronger commitment to the team goal, and you start to see good progress towards it.
By this time, they are motivated and knowledgeable. The team members are now competent, autonomous and able to handle the decision-making process without supervision. The team reaches the performing stage, when hard work leads, without friction, to the achievement of the team's goal.
It feels easy to be part of the team at this stage, and people who join or leave won't disrupt performance.