Delivering the harmony found in a 2 second pit stop to the highways sector
James Haluch, Managing Director at Amey Highways looks back to SHL!ve 2019 and what the sector can learn from F1.
Reflecting on SHL!ve at the iconic location of Silverstone, did make me think about how the highways sector could learn from the motorsport industry and whether there were more similarities than you first might think – apart from the obvious surfacing, safety fence and white lines! The simple conclusion I quickly came to was yes. While fundamentally F1 has one primary objective – to get the fastest lap time safely – we equally have one objective – to put people to work safely while delivering the highest levels of customer satisfaction.
Every person that plays a part in a F1 team has a role. A clear, defined role which they’re the experts in. They don’t deviate from it, they spend every day getting better at it. Take Lewis Hamilton – a record-breaking F1 driver who has honed all his talents to be the best driver. He may receive all the attention but he’s not on his own, F1 is very much a team sport built on collaboration.
The pit stop is where you see true collaboration come to life. A crew of nearly 20 people train and work in perfect synchronisation for 2 seconds to change four tyres, or indeed 1.91 seconds by Red Bull at Silverstone in July of this year. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAd_t4wibM0
Bringing the pit stop to highways
The principles of collaboration and working in perfect harmony came across in one way or another in many of the presentations at SHL!ve.
While nothing is broken in the way we do things, or why we do them, we all know that our current approach can’t continue without us being left behind – replaced by new companies, new technology, new people.
I’m not suggesting change for change’s sake. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. But let’s at least consider doing it better. Better collaboration with suppliers, the third sector, competitors, clients, Government, industry let alone our own employees who could drive truly fantastic results if we listen – the experts in our own pit stop.
Letting every part of the partnership do what they do best, utilising the skill sets available – and stopping the belief that one person or organisation can do it all. In short, working better together, drives better results and better outcomes. A 2 second pit stop is what we’re all aiming for.
A co-ordinated approach which benefits people
Now I guess you could say, what’s new? It’s a fair question with a simple answer – nothing! However, collaboration is something that we talk a lot about, and improvements have been made, such as BS11001 and ISO44001 but we could do more. And when collaboration really works and delivers outcomes – people really see the benefits.
The Government’s 2018 Industrial Strategy included a clear focus on creating an economy which works for everyone, narrows disparities, removes barriers and invests in people. Working with the third sector to support our social and charitable activities, working with academia to develop training and progression opportunities, working with the supply chain to develop new innovative solutions and so on. I did outline these thoughts in my presentation on Social Mobility at SHL!ve and will broaden the discussion at HighwaysUK this November.
I’ve shared before the work of Recycling Lives – offering offenders work experience to support upskilling, getting them ready to go back into the workplace better equipped. The results of Recycling Lives are irrefutable – well over 60% reduction in re-offending rates. The impact on those individuals is enormous, the impact on those around them is eye-opening and the impact on UK GDP is significant. https://www.linkedin.com/posts/james-haluch-23706789_amey-recyclinglives-socialmobility-activity-6519951814446718976-_OLn
Collaborating to tackle one problem at a time using everyone’s knowledge in the right way to get better. And most importantly of all, making sure we achieve our one objective – to put people to work safely while delivering the highest levels of customer satisfaction.
So, can we deliver the highways equivalent to a 2 second pit stop? Of course, with collaboration as a fundamental part of everyone’s business model. We shouldn’t talk about it in isolation like it’s something different – we’re all capable of achieving a 2 second pit stop together.