Meeting Business Goals Heads Down and Close Together
Have you ever wondered why cyclists ride close together in what appears to be packs? You see it all the time on your local streets and in bicycle races all over the world. Riders with their heads down and wheels really close together are “drafting”. Most of us have made assumptions about why they do this but have never taken the next step to find out just what the benefits of drafting are.
As it turns out, I train in cycling on a regular basis. I’m a former Triathlete and have competed in Ironman races on several occasions. Ironman Triathlons consist of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bicycle ride, and a 26.2 mile run.
Drafting Put to the Test with Power Meters
The San Gabriel River Trail is a very popular training route for me and other bicycle racers training for long competitions. We catch the trail at Encanto Park in Duarte, ride to Seal Beach and back. This is about 75 miles of riding and provides plenty of time to put drafting to the test.
My training partners and I have power meters on our bikes that tell us exactly how much effort we're using when pedaling. Our coaches give us target power numbers that we need to maintain, helping us learn what we can sustain and for how long.
Shared Energy Empowers the Team
What we learned out on the trail was amazing. When I was drafting behind my training partner, my power numbers were reduced by 40% of his numbers. He was literally pushing 200 watts and I was pushing only 120 watts. What’s more, I was having to tap the breaks to keep from running into the back of him.
We all learned that we could go much farther if we switched off being the leader.
(By the way, drafting is not allowed in an Ironman race for obvious reasons, but it is great for a long training day.)
Progress is Made Through Collaboration, Not Competition
Why do I spend so much time explaining drafting and bicycle racing? It’s the very same analogy in business as “everyone rowing the same direction” or “being on the same page”. Our businesses can go a lot farther with a lot less effort if we are using one of these strategies.
Many times in my consulting travels, I find that instead of working together, executives are fighting a battle with technology and those that provide IT services. When they’re adversaries, executives and IT professionals can’t truly work together toward a common goal which makes achieving any goal much less likely and far more difficult.
Align Business Goals and Technology to Get Results
The solution, if companies want to produce results that exceed expectations, is for the executive team to work in harmony with IT and use technology as a way to achieve goals.
Fortunately, getting results from technology is mostly about teamwork and the ability for all parties to see the common goal. It may be hard to describe where you want to go and how to get there, but teams figure out this stuff all the time when they align themselves and work together.
Have a great November!
About Marty Kaufman
Marty Kaufman is Founder and President of Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., a Southern California-based innovator in IT thinking. He got his start in the world of Big Data as Manager of Information Systems for General Dynamics. He earned his B.S. degree in Computer Information Systems from California Polytechnic University, Pomona in 1985 and started Accent Computer Solutions as a consulting firm in 1987. He has spent his entire career researching and implementing Information Technology strategies and processes to help his clients reduce the cost and risk of IT.
- Connect with Marty Kaufman