Understanding the Pitstop Meta-model™

Here we provide an insight to the Pitstop Meta-model™ highlighting interesting aspects of the model and how they relate to the performance of any organization or team.

Performance in business, as in F1™, is a complex equation of driver, team and machine… that is the main message.

At the highest level the pitstop model focuses on 3 critical dimensions of performance; driver, machine and team.  In so doing it tells the story of how the basis for competition/winning has changed.

Traditionally racing was a gladiatorial quest between egotistical driver in powerful cars.  The focus was been on the driver or the car – that is the leader and the strategy of the organization. But that is no longer enough!

To win today, the driver needs a great team. So it is that a total view of performance must focus on all 3 elements of driver, machine and team. This total performance equation is at the heart of the Pitstop approach.

The driver, well that is you! The car is the various projects, initiatives, strategies and priorities that you are driving. The pit team is the people you need to win – they keep your car on the road, monitor its progress and make important adjustments as needed.

There are opportunities for improvement in all 3 areas, the pitstop meta-model and its analytics will help you find them.  

The Top & Bottom of the Model

The Pitstop Meta-model™ shows that individual and collective performance are inseparable.  It says your success depends on others, even if you are a world champion!!

In the case of F1™ you need them to fix the car and to keep it on the road. When it comes to the pitstop how well they work will determine if you can or will win.

Your own individual efforts, innate talents and determination are unlikely to be enough.  You need to surround yourself with the right people.  However, that is not easy.

The model is a tale of two teams.  The first is a high performing team – shown at the top of the model.  By contrast the bottom of the model is a mess – there is chaos and competition.  It more like a crowd or a group than a team. 

Which of the two teams do you need to win?

Why Look at Performance this Way?

Today we have a much deeper understanding of the many factors that impact on individual and collective performance, than at any time in the past.  But it requires more than research papers and theories to engage busy leaders with the science and psychology of performance.

That is why we have turned to F1™ to bring to life topics (such as team dynamics or organizational design).  In particular the use of a next generation meta-model for performance inspired by the F1™ pitstop.

Build upon the latest psychology, the model re-frames the issue of performance to transform how your team thinks and talks about its performance.  The result is better and faster decisions, with higher level of engagement too.

To explore the design of the model – click here.



Note: You don't have to be a fan or, or even life F1™ to benefit from the pitstop approach.   It is not about racing, but rather the application of tools and techniques for creative problem solving and innovation.  The objective is improved and accelerated decision making, especially within groups, particularly in organizations the term ‘performance' isn't always positive and conversations on the topic can be difficult.

The TOP of the Pitstop Meta-model™ is aimed at optimizing your team’s set up and design to deliver specific and measurable performance gains.

There is more to performance than simply bringing a group of capable individuals together and calling them a team. Even if you get the right people, that is only one of a total of seven considerations in designing for organizational & team performance.

In addition to having the right people, they must be in the right roles, doing the right work and working towards the achievement of the right results. That is what team performance design is all about.

The machine at the centre of the Pitstop Meta-model™ represents the various projects, initiatives and strategies that you are driving forward. But what is your level of success in getting them on the track and keeping them there?

The success of an organization depends not just on the performance of its teams, but on having a winning strategy and executing it effectively. A great team with a poor strategy or the wrong priorities will inevitably struggle to succeed.

Race teams start out with a perfect plan or strategy, but they are prepared to speedily adapt it when required. It is the job of the pit team to keep the car on the road with maximum chances of winning. This agility is key to success in all organizations and teams.

The BOTTOM of the Pitstop Meta-model™ focuses on optimizing your team’s dynamics to deliver specific & measurable performance gains.

Although its importance cannot be denied, ‘culture' can be difficult to manage, even to define.  Using the latest research, the pitstop model highlights 8 key behaviors that shape individual team performance. Called behavioural dynamics, or dynamics for short, these can be worked on to deliver significant performance gains.

A team is a complex social system where member’s moods and behaviors shape individual, as well as collective performance. Each of the dynamics (shown above) is either a source of performance gains or losses within a team.

The pitstop is a process of engaging & energizing your team in the realization of quantifiable performance gains (typically 7-25%). It combines workshops, group & individual coaching with performance analytics, insights & tools.

Key to race success is the ability to pitstop. Teams must quickly assemble, review the performance of key projects, initiatives and strategy and then speedily make adjustments to maximize the chances of winning.

The race track is an increasingly popular metaphor to communicate the demands of; accelerating innovation, out-maneuvering competitors and responding swiftly to fast changing markets.

But every race track has a pit lane and ironically it is there that managers can see the behaviors and capabilities that are required for effective cross-functional collaboration, business agility and innovation.

Quarter 4 is approaching fast. You are at lap 35 of a 52-lap race and the pressure is mounting. But if you pull into the pit lane will your team be ready to support you? Will their input help you to win?

When a team comes together the focus should be on performance and gaining the edge. There is no time for lengthy ‘talking shops’ and endless meetings. They should spot what needs to be fixed fast and quickly emerge re-energized, re-focused and primed to win. In short they need to work like a pit crew.

The highly choreographed precision of the pit team sets the new standard for teamwork & cross-functional collaboration. It exemplifies; discipline, agility, focus and a passion for winning. These are qualities every team can and must develop.

the lollipop on the pitstop meta model

A sign (called the ‘lollipop') is lifted to signal to the driver that it is time to accelerate out of the pitlane.  It means that the team has successfully finished its work.  We use the ‘lollipop' concept to signal to leaders about the performance of their teams.

Teams are about performance, everything else is secondary.  The primary performance measures are a team’s Task Effectiveness and Decision Smarts (how it uses or shares information).  But there is more…

Sustained team performance requires an environment of positive social interaction, as well as ongoing learning and development.  These aspects of team performance are labelled ‘Social’ and ‘Develop’. A team must balance all 4 – Task, Social, Decision and Develop – for sustained peak performance.

We use one of the more curious and strangely-named features of the F1™ pitstop – the lollipop – to present a comprehensive view of team performance ‘in the round’.

Based on research with over 900 teams, think of the ‘lollipop' as a ‘balanced scorecard' for your team's performance.

Your Performance Agenda: Where would you like to focus?

Priorities & Projects

Click on any of the above to explore related research & insights.

Your Performance Agenda: Where would you like to focus?

Talent & Team

Click on any of the above to explore related research & insights.