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EP 006 / 14.04.2021


Farah Nanji  0:06  


Comparing Formula One to other sports, how do you think the sport compares from a business and management point?


Mark Jenkins  0:13  


Yeah, it's a really good question that made me think. And I guess for me, the biggest issue is the technology dimension. Because I think the technology dimension is so critical. In Formula One, you don't tend to see that you see, you know, in things like cycling, even things like tennis, where clearly the tools that you use are important, but in Formula One, it is such a central use of resources. And that's what makes it different. So for me, it's the technology and the human side working together. And that's what I think makes it so powerful for other organisations to learn from, because many organisations are dealing with these kinds of issues. So it's, I mean, in our book, we have the quote from Frank Williams, who had this lovely line, you know, for two hours on Sunday, it's a sport the rest of the time, it's business, because you've got to raise the funding to pay for the research, you know, you're not just working on developing your car in the current year, you're also working on the car that you're going to race the following year. So there are all these parallel research and development activities that have to be funded and people have to focus on. So. So I think I think that's what makes it very different. And it's always had this duality between Is it about technology? Is it about entertainment, and you know that that argument still goes on today. And, of course, fundamentally, it has to be about entertainment, because people don't watch it, it won't generate the revenues it needs. And it won't be as interesting as exciting. So you've got to have the entertainment piece there. But for me, the technology underneath it is a critical part of that.


Farah Nanji  1:52  


You're listening to the mission makers show, a podcast that inspires humans to get into the mindset of success. My name is Farah Nanji, and I'm the founder of a business in the Motorsports industry that explores leadership lessons from things like Formula One. I'm also a DJ and music producer in the underground electronic themed, and a public speaker on key topics like resilience, building high performance teams, overcoming learning difficulties, and stimulating creativity. And to tie it all together, I love writing thought provoking content as a journalist for these industries, which is so unique in themselves. On this show, I'm sitting down with some of the most inspiring and driven people I've met around the world to talk about their processes, their failures, the lessons they've learned, and how they are truly making an impact on this world.


Hi, guys, and welcome back to episode six of the mission makers podcast. Today we're joined by Professor Mark Jenkins from Cranfield University. Mark is a Formula One expert and is widely known as one of the first ever professors to explore the business lessons of Formula One. He's authored several books about the subject. And in this episode, we cover many topics that businesses can learn from the high performance world of Formula One, as well as the predictions for the 2021 season. Just before we begin, if you're interested in watching the video version of this podcast, head over to YouTube and type in Mark Jenkins mission makers to see the show. And if you're interested in some really cool rewards like DJ lessons, signed books from our guests, and exclusive merchandise, head over to WWE, forward slash mission makers to check out how you can access these exclusive rewards. Hi, Mark, thanks so much for joining us today. How are you doing?


Mark Jenkins  3:43  


Very good. Thanks. Very good.


Farah Nanji  3:45  


Very good. So it's been really interesting reading some of your work. I know you've, you've written very, very interesting books around leadership through motorsport, which I find absolutely fascinating. And I think our audience is in for a real treat today to kind of hear from a leading expert, you know about some of these things. So before we delve into that aspect, you're widely known as one of the first professors that ever explored this topic of lead of lessons from Formula One. So how did that actually come about? Was it always your dream? Or did you have something else completely in mind for your career?


Mark Jenkins  4:19  


Yeah, I think there's a joke, isn't there, which is how do you make God laugh? Tell him your plans. And I certainly didn't have it on my objective to get involved in Formula One in an academic context. But what I did do was get involved with Cranfield School of Management and teaching on their MBA programme. And in around the mid to late 90s. We were struggling with an area of strategy to try and engage the students when it was rather dry theory it was called the resource based view of the third firm. And it basically worked on the basis of saying firms need to understand Unique cultures, what makes them different? And we could go through the theory. But students are saying, Well, yeah, give us some examples. And it just occurred to them. In my teens, I was interested in Formula One, that Formula One teams were a great situation where you had organisations doing a very, very specific task to achieve a very clear outcome. But these organisations, once you start looking at them, are totally different. The culture even though they were in this very incestuous specialist area, they were very different. And so I wrote a series of case studies, teaching case studies, I started to teach them on the MBA. And these case studies now even still use today, there's a book called exploring strategy, which features them. So they're still going strong. But that started me off looking at Formula One teams. Because if you come back to the fundamentals of any organisation, you've got those three elements, and that is people, money and technology. And you've got to try and achieve the performance outcome from those three elements. And Formula One is just a great example of how you try to do that in a way that outperforms the competition. So that took me into research into the industry, I was involved in the first study of the best sport industry in the UK, in which we published in 2000. And then, you know, in relation to the work you're doing, I got involved in actually working with organisations outside Formula One, to help them improve their practice through looking at what goes on in Formula One teams and says, Well, how can I learn from this?


Farah Nanji  6:37  


That's fantastic, and how exciting to use Formula One as a vehicle to transmit some of those those lessons,


Mark Jenkins  6:44  


I always think life's too boring to spend it looking at boring subjects. So my philosophy is to keep it interesting. So I'm glad at most to do that.


Farah Nanji  6:53  


Definitely 100% echo those sentiments. So following your time, when you are a student at Huddersfield, did you ever sort of think you would be in that? lecturers position yourself? And do you kind of reflect back and think about your experiences when you were studying? And does that kind of play a role in how you might structure your lessons?


Mark Jenkins  7:12  


Yeah, I never thought that I'd be, you know, in front of the class during the lectures that never occurred to me, it wasn't what I was interested in doing, certainly at that stage. But I guess there were some really great lectures, there were also some rather bad ones. And I remember a number where they would just simply read a chapter out of a textbook, you know, we'd all arrive and they just, and so I thought, well, this, this is rubbish. But then in other lectures, particularly case studies, where we really got into a topic, but where the lecturer really understood the topic, they were really involved in that, you know, there was a whole backstory and other stuff in there. And those were the things I think that interests me, because it helps you get people engaged in the subject. And therefore something like a case study, it's not perfect, because you're still in a classroom situation. But it gets you further into that situation, and it gets you talking about it. And when it's a real situation, like Formula One, it's changing week by week, you know, so it's not a case study I wrote in 1998, which is when I originally wrote the case studies now I updated it last year, it's constantly changing, it's changing every week. So it's live, and that I think, makes things more immediate, more interesting to people.


Farah Nanji  8:33  


100%. That's, that's one of the best ways to bring more reality into the classroom. And so, at Cranfield, which is one of the best places in the world to study motorsport, how do they do things very differently?


Mark Jenkins  8:46  


Yeah, I mean, I agree with your statement there. Thank you for saying it. Yeah, I think it is. I've been at Cranfield a fair while and I'm in the management school, but I've always been sort of partly involved with the motor sport programmes there. And it's been a privilege to be part of those. And I think for me, the thing that really set them apart was the strength of their advisory board. You know, they've got around 20 people on the programme advisory board the Motorsports advanced engineering MSC started in 2000. And you've got people like Pat Simmons ager and reynald. They've been around, they've taken on major roles in organisations whether it's agent Reynaldo var, Pat Simmons at Renault, and now his technical director, Formula One. These are really practically orientated people, and they really engage with the students. They use it. students go out and do a lot of projects, which is, you know, a real feat when you consider the secrecy involved around some of these things. But it's because the whole programme is focused on practice. And I think one of the criticisms I think of academia is it's become too separated often. And for me, the only value of theory is it can help you with practical problems. So you need to have both sides to really learn and really get the best out of things. And I think that to me, it's that engagement with practice that engagement in practical solutions that made the Cranfield programme so unique. And, of course now we've got a lot of alumni who've been on the course who now I'm quite senior in Formula One teams.


Farah Nanji  10:23  


Definitely. And also, I'm aware there's a lot of amazing research and development facilities as well on campus. Is that right?


Mark Jenkins  10:29  


Yes, absolutely. Yeah, I mean, we've got, we've now got one of the first digital control towers, because we have an airfield as well. So it's quite nice. Most sports people can fly in on their helicopters or planes. But yes, the digital technology that we're now using simulation technology, all really critical. And, yeah, we've got a lot of experts in that area.


Farah Nanji  10:54  


So comparing Formula One to other sports, how do you think the sport compares from a business and management point?


Mark Jenkins  11:01  


Yeah, it's a really good question that made me think, and I guess for me, the biggest issue is the technology dimension, because I think the technology dimension is so critical. And Formula One, you don't tend to see that you see, you know, in things like cycling, even things like tennis were, clearly the tools that you use are important. But in Formula One, it is such a central use of resources. And that's what makes it different. So for me, it's the technology and the human side working together. And that's what I think makes it so powerful for other organisations to learn from, because many organisations are dealing with these kinds of issues. So it's, I mean, in our book, we have a quote from Frank Williams, who had this lovely line, you know, for two hours on Sunday, it's a sport the rest of the time, it's business, because you've got to raise the funding to pay for the research, you know, you're not just working on developing your car in the current year, you're also working on the car that you're going to race the following year. So there are all these parallel research and development activities that have to be funded and people have to focus on. So. So I think I think that's what makes it very different. And it's always had this duality between Is it about technology? Is it about entertainment? And you know that that argument still goes on today? And, of course, fundamentally, it has to be about entertainment, because people don't watch it, it won't generate the revenues it needs. And it won't be as interesting as exciting. So you've got to have the entertainment piece there. But for me, the technology underneath it is a critical part of that.


Farah Nanji  12:43  


Yeah, definitely. Isn't it like 10,000 parts in f1? car, there certainly won't be the same, you know, by the time next season comes around. So it's fascinating. The constant adaptation and the innovation and technology, definitely, you know, stands out from other sports. So talking a little bit about case studies, what's been one of the most fascinating ones that you've worked on where you've seen that, you know, f1, has made a direct impact to an organization's transformation?


Mark Jenkins  13:10  


Yeah, I think I mean, we, I was involved not long after these case studies in a major programme for a very large law firm. I can't say who they are, but they were still a big law firm. And they had this problem that they were merging in an English and a German operation. And you see the timing, this was around ninth 2019 99. And we had Michael Schumacher, sort of leading Ferrari at that time. And they tried all kinds of Management Development, which hadn't worked, because lawyers, you know, probably rightly see the law as the most important knowledge and all this management trading rubbish was, you know, just just not relevant. And so they were trying to find a sort of vehicle to engage people, make them think and really help them learn. And they come up with the idea of Formula One, and I was drafted in to help and the other two people that were drafted in Cannes Pasternak and Richard West, we went on to write the book together from that experience, but basically what we did was do a simulation, which we ran at the Williams formula, one operation, where they had to put together a business case for setting up a Formula One team. They also had to work as a team, we had a Formula One car there, they would do pit stops against the clock, which is a fantastic way of getting people to either work as a team or work as individuals. And you can really see the difference in terms of the performance. And we run it. We ran it for several years, and many hundreds of their associates went through it, it made a huge difference to their sort of mindset. So that's one example. I think the other examples when I've done similar kinds of events, particularly with top teams is You just see the energy, the emotion, you don't always get with a lot of Management Development, you know, they they're really engaged, it really helps them take a step further, in really thinking what they're trying to do, and really getting themselves to work together as a team. So for me, it's that emotional engagement, that enthusiasm, that excitement. And I'm not just talking about the Formula One fans here. You know, certainly my experience, people who perhaps think it's a bit boring and wouldn't want to watch it actually really do get engaged when they're really practically involved in doing an exercise like changing the wheels and tires on the car. And it really does change the way they see it. So it's that sort of level of emotional engagement. I think that's really important.


Farah Nanji  15:47  


Definitely love a good f1 pitstop challenge. And so in your opinion, you know, studying these teams and these drivers for so many decades, what have you seen as the top three common traits that world champions demonstrate when they are the ones leading high performing teams?


Mark Jenkins  16:04  


You mean World Champion drivers by that presume?


Farah Nanji  16:07  


World Champion drivers? Yes.


Mark Jenkins  16:08  


Yes. Yeah. Yeah, I think it's a great question. And I think the key for me and Michael Schumacher is an example of that. And his time at Ferrari. Lewis Hamilton, I think, has been that as well. Macedo, where they transcend just being the driver, the person who gets in the car where they will energise and motivate and engage the whole organisation. So they're really like the emblem. And as drivers, they recognise, they are only as good as the people around them. And therefore, that they focus far more on it being a team. Of course, drivers are a bit different, you know, that they were sort of, because it's the drivers we like to watch. That's what we want to see, you know, the drivers overtaking each other. So there is also that sort of tension within a team. But it's that commitment and engagement going that bit further, rather than just arriving during the race and then disappearing. You know, use you hear you see stories of those drivers just going that bit further to engage in doing that bit more. I mean, I don't know if you saw colour sights the other day was a test for Ferrari. And there is a group, a small group of fans turned up at the test track. So watching him in the distance. And then next thing they know the fire trucks coming around and out gets Carlos sts and has a chat with him. And it's those sort of little things of humility, engagement that I think really helped build that team. And I think we've seen that a number of times, you know, even if you go back further, Jackie Stewart's role at a Terrell, where he and Ken Terrell and the whole team were just working together to create an amazing level of performance.


Farah Nanji  18:02  


Well, you read my mind there, because when he was talking about, you know, drivers that go that extra mile, immediately Carlos came to my mind, because also he was quiet, you know, he shared a lot that he moved. When he was with McLaren. He moved to working to be within a couple of miles distance to the team. And, and all of those things, I definitely agree and actually just talking about, you know, the emotional aspect of the sport and the entertainment, I do have to ask you, what did you think of driving to survive? Do you think it was an accurate reflection?


Mark Jenkins  18:32  


Yeah, I think what was great about the drive to Cirque du Soleil, it gave us a different insight. Is it an accurate fact? It's part of the story? Yeah. So it's television as well. But people like Gunther Steiner, you know, and those who really sort of came out really strongly in those sort of, you know, in those series, I think it's great that we see this other side and this sort of dynamic that's going on. So I don't think it's the whole story. But it's another part of the story. And I think it's Yeah, great, great viewing as well.


Farah Nanji  19:06  


By the time this episode comes out, mission makers' drive to survive will have been released. So I'm sure I will be very interested about season three coming in. Lots of interesting ones about, you know, COVID, and how that I'm sure there's so much from last season to kind of catch up on the topic of drivers. I know that in your book performance at the limit, Nicky Lauder wrote the foreword. And you've spoken in the past about how business savvy he was to tell me a little bit more about that.


Mark Jenkins  19:36  


Yeah, I think he's an amazing character. Sadly, sadly, no, no longer with us. But he I think for me, the thing that came over and we had an interview with him at the Belgian Grand Prix on for the third edition of the book, and that's when he agreed to write the foreword and everything is very straightforward. There's no airs or graces. But he really does care. He really cares about the people. And there's a really good book by Morris Hamilton. I think it's just called Nikki that came out last year. And to me, one of the really different sides of Nikki lauda, you see is the whole story of the air crash, there was a tragic crash of a lauda airplane. And, you know, there was a technical fault with the aircraft. But, you know, nobody realised that at the start, and it was his whole engagement and total commitment in working with his employees with Boeing, who were the aircraft manufacturer with the relatives as well. And that's what comes over. He is someone who's very committed and caring. And I guess that's similar to the point I'm making about the driver, you get the sense, this is someone who really cares about them and knows what they're doing. They're not, they're not grandstanding. They're not, you know, showing off. They're, they're really passionate about it. And that is something I think that really comes over with him. And he's a great, great character, as well. And, you know, he had to edit out all the four letter words and so on. But, yeah, it is, I think it's that clarity of thought that caring those to me were the things that really came over.


Farah Nanji  21:17  


Were there any aspects outside of motorsport that he was heavily involved with, as in a business context?


Mark Jenkins  21:23  


Well, the louder air his airlines Yeah. And he'd go and fly, he was a fully qualified airline pilot, so he could fly these wide body jets. And then he created, he heard louder air, then he created another airline called Nicky, he ended up selling them both to Austrian Airlines. He said he couldn't come out with any more airlines after that, because he didn't have any names left. That was his. That was his throwaway line on that. But yeah, I think it was his, you know, not only did he have one airline that was very successful, he then started up another, so it's this serial entrepreneur side to him, which I think is fascinating.


Farah Nanji  22:04  


In your performance pyramid, you discuss a lot about the ways to create winning cultures and organisations, and have that emphasis on communication being face to face. And I and I definitely agree, it makes such a big difference. And if now, if we could be doing this interview face to face, it would be you know, much, much, much, you know, much more engaging, I think in a different way. But just talk to me a little bit about the principles of that pyramid and how maybe it has you thinking about reevaluating it now in the context of this crisis. And you're sort of in this crisis, what would your message be to companies that might be paralysed by the current situation?


Mark Jenkins  22:44  


Yeah, I think I'm just a bit of a reflection, I guess the pyramid came to me really, as we were working on the third most recent edition of the book and I've been asked to give a presentation at Cranfield to a group of VIPs. And originally, I think I had something like 45 minutes, something like that. So I'd got all these slides prepared and everything. And I was waiting in the big lecture theatre, and I was getting later and later. And in the end, they were so delayed. I had no time to give a presentation. They just said, you know, what's the one thing we've got five minutes. What's the one thing we need, that Formula One teams are so good at that we need to know about? And it just sort of came to me, said learning. They learn at an incredible rate. they are constantly learning on every level in everything they do. But the learning doesn't work in isolation. So we sort of start with the learning. But there are two other things you need. One is you need to focus, you need the top of the pyramid, which is to say, what is it we're learning to do? Well, in a formula, one thing you might say that's obvious, but not always, you know, often when a team's you know, what are Aston Martin looking to do in 2021 a doubt they're looking to win the World Championship, but I'm sure they have some clear goals and metrics that they're going to use to say, look, this is what we're going to achieve in this in this year, is to year three, you know, we've got some idea of what we're trying to achieve. So you need focus. And you know, the other thing, as you mentioned, is culture, you need the right culture because you won't learn if the culture isn't supportive of learning. It's very easy to destroy, learning in an organisation through blame through repressive systems. You've all you've all you've got to ask yourself is how does someone get on in this organisation? And in a Formula One team, the top teams you get on by being open, honest, constantly improving and developing? And those are the things they look for because that's the culture that feeds the success. So, I think point number one is Is Yeah, I think that those three ideas of the pyramid are just as valid today as they were a few years ago. I think the challenge is the way in which you do that. Because, you know, unzoom, we're, we're sort of more disconnected teams and more fragmented, you don't get those little touch points, to the same extent, it's certainly in the current situation. So I think the managerial challenges, how do you replace those? How do you get those little conversations? How do you build that sense of honesty of learning, picking up those little things that you wouldn't normally pick up, you would normally pick up a view or an eye in the same room, you know, just perhaps note, you seem a bit down or something like that? Well, it's far harder to gauge when someone's on a zoom, and they're sort of putting up their video thing. And so and so, I think one of the challenges is finding ways to do that. And one of the biggest issues that certainly managers face, I think is, is people are gonna respond to that in different ways. You can't just say, right, we're all gonna have, I don't know, six o'clock, we're all gonna have a beer on soon, that might not work for everyone. You know, some people might have childcare responsibilities, they may have other things. So. So I think the problem is more complex, it requires a lot of thought and energy to make sure that you're constantly building those connections. And having those opportunities to share with people in the organisation that allows them to ask questions allows you to explain things. So I think those kinds of loops are really where people have got to focus, because we don't have that same, you know, physical closeness that we had pre pandemic. And, you know, it's unclear as to when we're actually gonna if we ever do get back to that same level of, you know, of intimacy that we had before.


Farah Nanji  26:58  


Definitely has this period made you think about whether you should do another edition of the book?


Mark Jenkins  27:06  


No, it hasn't. Actually. I mean, I mean, I think my view of the book is, is the book, as has been great. It's got as far as I think we'd like to take it. There may be other books I'm, I've been thinking about doing something on culture more specifically, but I haven't. I haven't got around to that yet. I don't know if I will. But, you know, there are other things. There's a lot of interesting things in Formula One and Motorsports. But I think I think the other angle on this is this whole digital simulation aspect, which is clearly getting very important in Formula One, but also in the way organisations are going to be managing and relating to people. So I think there are some interesting issues in there, which I think will sort of come to the fore more in the future.


Farah Nanji  27:56  


Definitely. So thinking about, you know, teams like Ferrari and Willie Williams, which unfortunately didn't perform as well on the grid last year. And, you know, there are two very interesting things about that, because Ferrari has, you know, a lot more money than Williams at that at that point. And so it's clear that it, you know, one could argue it well, is it only money? Because it can't just be that. So? Where do you think the organisational failures were for those for those two teams?


Mark Jenkins  28:23  


I think the money one is always really interesting, because often people say to me, you know, well, it's all about money, isn't it? The teams who have the most money? With? No, actually, if you actually look exactly as you say, sometimes too much money can be a problem. Because where do you decide where you're going to spend it? Toyota, famously put billions of dollars into Formula One in the early 2000s. And after nine years pulled out without winning a single race. So money is part of the equation, as I say, but you've got the people and technology and it's how you get all that to work. Ferrari go through these phases. And for me, it's very much around the management, the clarity, you know, you could see in the Schumacher years, it wasn't just about Schumacher, Zhong Todd was pivotal in creating the right kind of culture, the right kind of management style for the organisation, and cutting through a lot of the bureaucracy. And I think they've struggled ever since to get that same clarity, partly because, you know, as we know, history tells us firms only really change radically when things are going really badly, really dreadful and Ferrari in the 80s, early 90s, we're going through a terrible period, at the moment is sort of puttering along around the cusp. You know, it's not dreadful, but it's not great either. It's not as you say, what they should be doing given their history given their resources. So I think They're all management issues. I think, you know, metabo, noto is a lovely guy, he was great technical director. But when you give someone this wider responsibility, you know, you're losing that technical skill. And you know, someone's trying to get into a different role, which in Ferrari is a hugely demanding political role, a sort of senior team principal role. So, and therefore. And then there's also the question about how much these people are protected by Ferrari themselves, you know, by the shareholders and so on how much interfering goes on. So I think for us is what has been a problem of faces and too much resource and trying to get through to the clarity of what they're really about. I think Williams, if you look back, really you can see, so the seeds from when they last heard Patrick heard, you know, Patrick head and Frank Williams were this supreme partnership of a technical brilliance, and a sort of managerial, financial brilliance, and they work together as that team. Whereas, since then, I mean, they've been some flashes, you know, when Pat Simmons was with Williams, they were pretty successful. But they've sort of lost that technical direction. In terms of really getting that to work with the car, they've had Mercedes engines, so there should be no excuse really, when you look at what racing points have done. When we say these powers, they have been supremely successful at working with a low budget. Now, they're Aston Martin, getting a bigger budget. And that's, that's not necessarily all good news, because it potentially challenges that old culture, it's change and new positions, new people, new jobs, how does that all work? So how that's going to work, I think is also another another question. But I think, yeah, and that that, to me, is the fascination. Ferrari Williams, Aston Martin, different organisations, different histories, different cultures, different challenges. And it's gonna be really interesting to see how they play out in the next few years.


Farah Nanji  32:17  


Definitely. Do you think racing point is a great classic example of something that you've spoken about in the past, about imitation instead of innovation to outperform?


Mark Jenkins  32:28  


Yeah, I mean, they were very good at what they did. And you know, the ones we're using, they've got a close partnership with Mercedes. So why spend time and effort on the things that you know, you have access to versus focusing on those other areas where you may be able to make more of a difference. Formula One has always been innovation and imitation, both of those things always going on, you've got to find the best ideas. If someone else has got them, you've got to work out what it is how it works, and you've got to try it. Similarly, you've got to innovate, you've got to come up with those new ideas. So doing both of those things together. Every team is now as you get further back down the grid, where you've got, in the past, we had a two part minority who weren't, would never look to win or anything, they would just be pleased to be part of making up the numbers. But now we know, as you looked at some of the teams at the back of the grid, you know, where you got Alfa Romeo, and other teams that they've got a lot of ambition. So I think it's going to be interesting, and there's going to be a lot of pressure, particularly on the larger teams, because we now have this budget cap as well. So they're having to sort of reduce their resources. And at the same time, the smaller teams are still working within their existing resource frameworks.


Farah Nanji  33:55  


How do you think innovation will be impacted by that? Yeah.


Mark Jenkins  34:02  


I think innovation always goes on. It always will go on and innovate in everything, not just the car. You know, innovation in the way they look after the people, the way they develop people, all all things. Formula One, teams are constantly looking for those 10s of seconds, and they come up everywhere. So I don't think there will be less innovation. I think it will manifest itself in different ways. We won't see radically different cars, because we can't because that's whether it but I think we're gonna see creative ideas, creative ways, that the Formula One teams always find work around the existing regulation. So I'm sure it will continue because it's fed by that desire to win. And to do that, you've got to constantly innovate. You've got to constantly learn you can never stop. Hey, you.


Farah Nanji  34:57  


We hope you're enjoying today's episode. We're on a serious mission here to create one of the world's best podcast series. And we'd be so grateful if you could support us in any way by becoming a patron of the show. There's a tier to every level from early bird tiers where you get downloads to all my music with some super cool ninja stickers, to our VIP mission maker tiers where you get epic rewards like exclusive footage that never gets aired the chance to submit questions to our guests with signed copies of books from them, DJ lessons, one to one coaching and a whole load of super cool ninja measure maker merchandise, you can start supporting us for less than what it costs you to fill up your car for a month by simply heading over to forward slash mission makers. Thanks for listening, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the show. Do you think that? Now this might be a bit of a controversial topic? But do you think that the just to give a bit of context Actually, I do know that and I think it was, you know, widely kind of publicised that a lot of f1 teams, when the crisis first started beginning were, you know, sort of quite crucial in some parts of the innovations that happened in dealing with some of the crises. But do you think that the government could have tapped in more into Formula One's brains because at the end of the day, they've got some of the brightest engineers and scientists and stuff in the, you know, in their team? So do you think they could have utilised their logistics and their technological expertise more?


Mark Jenkins  36:20  


Yeah, I'm sure they would, there was a project pit lane, which is where a number of the teams, Sadie's, McLaren, and others, Red Bull were involved in ventilators, production developing those And that, again, was led by Formula One. There are examples of that, I guess. Yes. The problem is, the government would need to understand what is it we can use? And how do we use it? And I think one of the interesting things about the budget cap, which is now everyone's got a budget cap of around $145 million, I think it is a year operating. They are not wanting to get rid of people. So they are going to find other projects, other initiatives for these incredibly bright driven people to get involved with which won't be around the formal wanting. But we'll be around, you know, some of these issues around medicine, medical care around logistics, as you said, because that is a really critical area. So I guess for me, a more natural way more evolutionary way is that I think we will see some of the teams who've been less involved in the tech transfer teams like McLaren and Williams have, and they've had spin off businesses where Williamson sold those off, but I think Mercedes and Red Bull will get more involved and Ferrari in some of these are the initiatives that hopefully will have far more wider impact and benefit to humanity as a whole.


Farah Nanji  37:54  


Absolutely, yeah. Because for sure, as we've seen, you know, the Formula One teams have so much more of an impact than just within the bubble of motorsport. Talking about sort of diversity, and you know, we're still here 2021 we still don't have female Formula One drivers. So what do you think are the top three things that the sport needs to do to create more of an equal playing field in this?


Mark Jenkins  38:19  


There's a lot of good work and one of the professors are not concerned at Cranfield involved in it, is how do we get more female students through into STEM into those technology areas, we get a number on our programmes at Cranfield. But to be honest, not enough, we'd like more. So I think that part of the problem is, I think, where you do have, you know, people coming through, they're often very successful and very influential, a number of them were involved in various aspects, particularly around technology. But I think that that's where it needs to start. In terms of STEM, we do have the W series racing series, which this year is going to partner Formula One. So they're going to be taking part at the same venue when the Formula One races are happening. And I think you know, that's another great initiative to show women sports, when as drivers, what they can achieve. And so I think on that side, there are a number of ways in which it's going But fundamentally, certainly on the technology sides and Formula One. We need more female students coming through those earlier stages. It's interesting that one of the things I heard is that where they struggle to retain some of these women technologists is often they're more interested in going into startups and other interesting things rather than big money somewhere else. So they've also got to find those Career Pathways to keep them moving and to keep them interested. And maybe some of that could be some of these spin out ideas, you know, that we just talked about?


Farah Nanji  40:10  


That's really interesting. Well, we had Katherine on the show earlier earlier this year. And one of the things we asked her in context of, you know, f1 of W series, partnering up with the f1 circuit was, you know, Would you ever consider w series in a place like Saudi Arabia, what a great message, what a great way to send that message to the world. And she was very, very keen on the aid on the on the idea of if and when it became available. Talking about sponsorship in motorsport is definitely an area that's been, you know, changing and changing and changing. So many times has faced many crises in the past, when tobacco got banned, for example, at the moment, what do you think the gaps in the markets are for a team? And for brands?


Mark Jenkins  40:55  


Yeah, I think as you say, the markets change very much we seem to you know, there was a time you got a sort of headline sponsor. You know, like, whether it was Benetton, who may also own a team. Now, a much more fragmented part of the problem is the pay per view, the viewing, you know, so the audience delivery is different. Where I think has always been strong. And, you know, I was really pleased to see the relationship between Cognizant and Aston Martin, for example. So I think where we are in the digital IT space, I think we're seeing far more of these sort of reciprocal technology relationships, which might involve some funding, but might involve other kinds of initiatives, which is where it's been going to be honest. So we've got these different kinds of partnerships, technology, partnerships, perhaps brand partnerships. And I think that that will continue. But it is, as you say, very tough the days when you could get, you know, I was watching a programme with Clive James programme on the Adelaide Grand Prix 9096. And I think rich Willie West, who was the commercial director Williams was telling me it's $4 million, just to get your name on the little wing mirror, or something like that. And I think those days have gone. But I think again, it's more sophisticated. It's more partnership based. And it's more finding those different opportunities to create value. So it is challenging. But you know, we're seeing some interesting partnerships, particularly in this sort of it. digital space.


Farah Nanji  42:33  


Yeah, definitely the Cognizant, Aston Martin will be a fascinating one to watch. And just the final question now on Motorsports before we switch gears a little bit. What do you see as the challenges and opportunities for the industry post pandemic and post Brexit? And do you think that the sport will be able to meet its goal of making itself carbon neutral by 2030?


Mark Jenkins  42:58  


Yeah, I mean, the opportunities Firstly, I think it's been really interesting that Liberty Media and their new ownership really focused on a built up eSports angle. And to me that this is a really interesting issue here with all this work on simulation. eSports. So there's sort of a blurring, if you like, between reality and the digital world. You know what some from McLaren said to me, you know, people talk about a digital twin, or you create the product, and there's a digital version. And he said, Well, actually, the digital is the master, the physical car, legs, the digital one, because we're constantly developing and exploiting that. So I think as you get into this, linking with eSports, so you've got competing, you've got more opportunities for people to compete in their living room. As well as the actual racing, I think there are lots of interesting angles on there. I don't think it's quite worked out as to what it could be. But I think we could see this blurring between the physical racing and the simulation side. I think the other thing is the electric side is clearly very interesting. We've got formulary, we now have the XC series, you know, the sort of off road series. And, you know, you can see a situation where as we move to more electric technology, then Formula One may move that way, because, of course, Liberty Media, both investing in Formula radio and Formula One. So the role of electric technology, the role of hydrogen, you know, we've got Red Bull working on hydrogen, the moon car. So I think there's lots of exciting new technologies linked to your point about carbon neutral. Yeah, I think definitely that that is going to be really vital for Formula One. I think they know that You know, they're looking at synthetic fuels, they're looking at other ways to carbon capture to, you know, make the whole, racing more, you know, more more environmentally effective, because the problem is less the actual racing, it's more than moving all this stuff around the world where a lot of the carbon is emitted. And that comes back to my point about, maybe there is going to be more use of simulation, more use of not needing to physically move all this huge infrastructure around the world. Maybe there's some other ways we can do that without having the same impact on the environment.


Farah Nanji  45:40  


Definitely, do you think that teams would be still, in the long term, you know, kind of interested to keep the sort of HQ here in the UK, given the Brexit challenges? And then what you mentioned there about the reduction?


Mark Jenkins  45:55  


Yeah, Brexit is no doubt going to be a bit of a problem. Just logistically, you know, with how all this works, I'm hoping it will only be a short term problem. For me the issue with where your headquarters the teams are located here, not because it's, it's just convenient, but because they can access the technology and the supply chains as well, the very specialist spot supply chains, you know, whether it's fuel tanks, or composite carbon composite manufacturer, that they need as well. So it's not just the team's there's a whole network of organisations that support it. So if you transplant yourself and we go somewhere else, then you need to make sure that you've got access to that knowledge. So I'm mildly optimistic that you know motorsport Valley, the expertise that's here will still be really important. For example, Williams, battery technologies is a fundamental part of the new XC series. You know, there's a lot of work going on around more energy efficient technologies, because one thing to think about eSports is good at is fast development, prototype development, ideas, innovation, that's what it's great at. So as long as it's able to keep that feeling that, yeah, I'm optimistic in the medium term, I think we're gonna have some short term bonds with the Brexit situation, but hopefully, they won't last too long.


Farah Nanji  47:27  


Yeah, I hope the heart will always stay here in the UK. So moving on to the next part of his interview, where we talk a little bit more about you as a leader and your mindsets. What have been some of the biggest lessons that you've learned personally from performing at the limit, as you say, from and including failure within that?


Mark Jenkins  47:48  


Yeah, I think the thing I've tried to do, personally, and it's something that, you know, if I ever teach a session, give a talk or do anything, do an interview, like I'm doing with you now, I always try and make sure I got time to reflect and note down any learnings from that to it. So making sure that you give yourself a bit of time and space and capture? You know, because the Formula One ethos is Yeah, okay. And mistakes happen. We all make mistakes. The key is, have I learned from them? And what have I learned, and how do we move forward. So that, to me, has been one of the most important things, both individually and also in my practice, as a manager in a university, to try and make sure that you sort of follow those principles of learning, creating the right environment, for that to happen.


Farah Nanji  48:47  


100% So talking about those learning environments, what have been maybe some of the biggest challenges, or the most challenging parts of teaching?


Mark Jenkins  48:57  


Yeah, actually, for me, the challenging part is not of teaching, it's not teaching. I love being in the classroom. I love talking to students. University bureaucracy is more than challenges, all the systems and structures that are put in place, because you need some kind of compliant framework. And often that creates far more problems. So that always to me has been the more frustrating side. I'm retired now full time. So I'm doing bits of teaching the bits I like to do without having to get too involved in all the bureaucracy and administration. So, that's good. But yeah, to me that that was always the downside.


Farah Nanji  49:41  


Definitely. And sometimes in these kinds of situations or places, there's so much silos that it's so difficult to work around it and it could take years for, you know, something simple to kind of move forward, which is quite frustrating. So, you know, we know that obviously now the education industry is being disrupted. Never before. So what are your thoughts on this as an educator? And what sort of changes would you like to see which I think are much needed for the educational sector?


Mark Jenkins  50:08  


Yeah, I think for me, it's the point I made earlier about the Cranfield Motorsports course, it's about being close to practice. Because if education is making a difference, certainly the kind of education I'm involved in, which is more business management, you want people to have really positive effects on organisations. You have to stay close to practice, you have to engage, you have to find ways to help people think about the challenges they're facing to develop skills and approaches mindsets. To help them deal with that. Anyway, crime Phil's involved in developing a new University here in Milton Keynes known Kinsey University, which is, again, following that kind of ethos of being very close to practice very close to thinking about what are those skills and capabilities that you should be leaving your university with, with your degree, you know, what, what are what is it you can now do? That you couldn't do before? So very much around practice, and action, I think is a really critical area.


Farah Nanji  51:14  


Yeah, definitely. Well, I really hope that, you know, we are able to find that balance. What advice would you give to students during this difficult time?


Mark Jenkins  51:25  


Yeah, it's difficult because everyone is facing huge challenges. And I guess what I would say is, you know, focus on the longer term focus on you know, what it is you really want to do and make sure that you follow your passion. I mean, I've seen a few things recently, who said, Yeah, isn't about passion, it's about what you can get a job doing, but to me, there's got to be some energy, and it's finding those things that you can apply and, you know, give you energy. And that's really important. Because, you know, in a challenging situation like this, we all need to try and keep motivating ourselves. So therefore, it's important to think passionately, it's important to think about our infrastructure, our family support unit, our friends, and how we use those support units. Because again, I mean, one thing, certainly from being involved with MBA programmes and sell on, I know is we all like to think that it's what I say at the front of the class as a professor that everyone remembers, but no, it's their colleagues, it's the way they work together with their fellow students, those are the things that often really stay with them. So think about your support networks, and invest some time in those networks. Because, you know, we all need to do that we all need to recognise where we need help, and where others need help. Yeah, so those will be some reflections on that.


Farah Nanji  52:55  


That's fantastic advice. And, and similarly echoed by Katherine as well who, you know, who shared with us that it took a village and it still takes that level to carry it to get w series off the ground, and your networks are so vital. And also, I think that a successful career, you know, hopefully spans decades, but that is a, it is a marathon and you'll you'll just fit, you know, in the beginning is you might have a lot of energy towards it a bit as you progress through life, if the passion isn't there, and all of the other parts of life that come that come, you know, with as, as we grow, will, will kind of just fade that desire and that energy towards what you bring to your own organisation or someone else's. And it's not, it's not authentic, then to serve others if you're not passionate about it in itself, right. So what does winning look like for you now you're in this new phase of your, of your trajectory with retirement? And, you know, well, yeah, so what would that look like for you?


Mark Jenkins  53:52  


Yeah, I mean, winning for me is getting up and feeling Yeah, I've got things I want to do. And, you know, I, I've always been sort of looking forward rather than looking back. And, you know, it's sort of keeping that energy going, finding useful things. I'm still working on one or two projects who have still got one or two papers that we're finalising. I've got a few doctoral students as well. And those to me are the nice things, enjoyable things. As well as family, friends, going for walks, getting outside as you know, all those things are good. And having some choices about where you can spend your time I think other sorts of things. I'm valuing at the moment.


Farah Nanji  54:38  


Definitely I'm an avid lover of making sure I get those steps in, and I try to get the 10,000 but it's maybe sometimes not so realistic with it. But what would you mean, you're in the heart of the most what Valley? I mean, you must have been on some amazing trails. Are there any, any ones in particular that you've kind of been on here in England that you would recommend?


Mark Jenkins  55:00  


Don't make the score valid, because yeah, I mean, I wouldn't one of my ideas and actually we sort of developed something for a paper I'm working on with a colleague at City University, two colleagues at City University, which is a map of motorsport Valley historic map. Because I think there's there's some great things, you know, things like the terryl, Woodyard, and, you know, where john Surtees had his little R and D operation where the Ford GT 40 was developed in slouch on an industrial park, but they're not nice places necessarily to walk around in that regard, but yeah, I mean, I'm looking here, we're on the green sand ridge. So there's lots of nice walks in Bedfordshire. But also down on the Thames footpath around there because, of course, it's to the west of London. So a lot of motorsport Valley down there and towards Bristol, which is the areas where it originally sort of evolved from from Bristol, London, Silverstone is the sort of triangle that sort of borders motorsport Valley.


Farah Nanji  56:12  


Great left Sega for some of these suggestions when it says when it's safe to do so. So moving into our q&a, we've got a couple of our listeners who've sent in some questions for you, Mark. So number one, what would be your predictions for the current f1 2121? season?


Mark Jenkins  56:34  


Yeah, I think because nothing, not a lot is going to change. They're going to be using some of the 2020 cars. We know I think we're pretty much where the drivers are going to be. So I think it would be I wouldn't want to bet against Mercedes, and Lewis Hamilton. But I do think Red Bulls are going to be a lot stronger because we have an engine freeze. So that's potentially an era where Mercedes have been stronger. I think Sergio Perez, you know, they've got somebody who will keep max for stepping on his toes and it will be a great race. got great race craft, and I'm sure that Red Bull will be stronger. This year. I think the current will be as well, the interesting thing with Ricardo. But yeah, I think it'll be Mercedes and Red Bull. Pretty close. But I'll still go for Louis and Mercedes, I think at the end of the day, definitely. Well, thanks. Assuming assuming a sort of the contract out of course,


Farah Nanji  57:36  


yeah. Yeah. Well, by the time this interview airs, we will have only known whether he's in the team or not. But of course, we will remember that. It's while we're recording this interview in February, and the contract still hasn't been signed. So that is, you know, definitely quite interesting. But thanks to Ali for that question. And then the next question comes in from Jess and the clue might be on the wall there where you are, but what's your favourite race to attend?


Mark Jenkins  58:04  


No, that one actually. Yeah, I think I mean, so Austin's a start one but the two as historic, you know, would be spa and Monza you know, really historic fast race tracks where you've got that sense of the history and evolution of Formula One very much in those places. I mean, mom's Monaco is a bit of an anachronism. It's sort of symbolic in a lot of ways, but I think spa and Monza with Silverstone as well of course, would be the one to go for.


Farah Nanji  58:42  


Nice. Nice. Well, he's got the Monaco picture of Monaco up on there behind him for people who aren't watching this video. Which is why we clocked on to that but fair enough, yeah, those tracks are amazingly historical and just such an incredible environment to experience for sure. So the final part of our interview is our quickfire round. We've got 60 seconds for each question. Maximum And so yeah, we'll just begin so very interestingly, I know that you once held a position as an advisor to the Institute for the masters of wine. I'm very curious what wine Do you think pairs best while watching the Grand Prix on a Sunday afternoon?


Mark Jenkins  59:24  


Yeah, I think I go for a nice Malbec myself. Yeah. And it's historic because the Argentine in races were you know Fangio fallen because those were great races. Sadly, we don't have any Argentinians with us at the moment in Formula One, but I'd have a glass of Baalbek in respect for that. I think that's what I go for.


Farah Nanji  59:44  


Fantastic. Mel Becca Fangio. Why not? On a scale of one to 10 how good of a driver are you?


Mark Jenkins  59:52  


You probably better ask my wife when she'd probably say not very good. I'd say five or six. Yeah, I Yeah, I wouldn't say I'm brilliant, but I'm not too bad about that. Do you mean a driver in traffic or racing? Driver racing? racing? Yeah, I did. I did come third in karting. But yeah, I'm not an accomplished racing driver. Yeah, I'm better off watching than I am driving, I think.


Farah Nanji  1:00:22  


Fair enough. Well, thanks for that. For honesty. They're very easy to say 10. Of course, in the context of Motorsports. What was your first ever car?


Mark Jenkins  1:00:34  


Yes, well, my first car was a Riley Kestrel, which is sort of an old British Motor Company BMC 1100 cc, it was like a sort of slightly larger version of the mini but it had a Riley badge. And I've still got the Reilly badge somewhere. But that was the first car I took it a bit. Unfortunately, it wasn't too successful in putting it back together. Yeah, but that was the first car I had.


Farah Nanji  1:01:02  


Okay, nice. What are you currently reading? If you're reading anything at all?


Mark Jenkins  1:01:08  


Yeah, if you'd asked me last week, I would have said life at the limit by Sid Watkins, which is one of my favourite Formula One books. Really great insight. I'm actually reading Gandhi's autobiography that started this week. I'd read it quite a lot of years ago. But reading again, and I guess anyone interested in leadership? You know, it's a fascinating book as you would expect to be very self effacing and very honest about all these failings. So I'm enjoying that.


Farah Nanji  1:01:39  


Nice. And lastly, what's the best thing that's happened to you this month? As the month has just started? So we could make this in the context of January and?


Mark Jenkins  1:01:50  


Well, yeah, the best thing that happened to me in January was I retired, so I couldn't sort of pick and choose what I do. So that was definitely the best thing that happened to me. Yeah, I think, for me, now, in the current situation, you know that I'm able to get out and walk in some lovely woodland. We've got some nice, as you say, trails parks here. And that's a revelation. It's great for your thinking, great to clear your head, particularly if you're tuned over a few problems or issues. But that to me is such a pleasure. That's such a great privilege, everyday weather to be able to get out and go for what because I know, not everyone can do that in the current situation.


Farah Nanji  1:02:29  


No, definitely. Well, Mark, thank you so much for having for joining us today, our mission makers. It's been an absolute pleasure and so many amazing takeaways. I hope our audience will take away from this episode.


Mark Jenkins  1:02:42  


Well, thank you for having me. It's been a real pleasure. Great questions for thank you so much takeout.


Farah Nanji  1:02:45 


I've been studying Mark’s books for a really long time. So it was an absolute honour to have him on the show and I really hope you enjoyed his insights. We've got some amazing guests coming on the show this season, so be sure to share the show with your friends and subscribe to us on Apple, Spotify, YouTube and wherever else you listen to your podcasts. Also do feel free to reach out to me at @missionmakers or @DJ.N1nja DJ on Instagram. And thank you again for listening. If you are interested in supporting the show and getting some really cool rewards like DJ lessons, and life coaching with me and my teams, don't forget to visit

Lessons To Fuel Your Mission
  • F1 is a delicate balance of imitation and innovation

  • Leaders that can manage change well are much better positioned to survive 

  •  A growth mindset is critical because life never stops teaching us lessons

  • :et go of the rear view mirror in order to keep a laser focus on the present and future


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