How much of where you perform impacts on how you perform?

Warning! This post has a lot more questions than answers so only read on if you’re looking for something to think about for a while!

I watched a TV show recently where a Formula 1 Team Principle arrived at a facility and was struck by the reception area where there were dirty coffee mugs and old newspapers lying around. He felt an environment where this was OK (in his words, a lack of attention to detail) couldn’t support maximal performance.

When he asked the person running the facility why it was like this, they responded by saying that if it didn’t make the car go faster, then it was irrelevant.

Before you read on, where do you sit on this?

I was, and probably still am, in two minds about this but I also found it generated some interesting things to think about…

  • Does lacking attention to detail in one area automatically mean people will lack attention to detail in all areas?
  • Can you coach a person with a strong preference for one environment (tidiness) to operate to the best of their ability in an environment which is the opposite (untidy)?
  • Do leaders sometimes place too much emphasis on personal preferences (liking a tidy reception) and encourage the adoption of these preferences in working environments when they may in fact have very little or no impact on performance?
  • If you love a bit of data – how would you try and measure which approach really does have the biggest impact on performance?

I also have many more questions but I think this will keep you going for now!!

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