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Opinions expressed on this blog reflect the writer’s views and not the position of the Capgemini Group

The Prescient Mr Smith

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Well, hats off to our colleague Greg Smith for what transpired to be a blog post of real prediction. Here’s how the BBC reported the decisive moment of the British GP on Sunday: ‘The decisive moment of the race came on lap 21, when Hamilton and Raikkonen came in for their first fuel and tyre stops. McLaren changed Hamilton's intermediate wet-weather tyres for fresh ones, while Ferrari - gambling it would stay dry - left Raikkonen's used set on. Within a lap, though, it had started to rain again, and Raikkonen suddenly started struggling with a catastrophic lack of grip. Hamilton, knowing he could effectively win the race there and then, piled on the pressure, and by lap 26 was 21.8 seconds ahead of Raikkonen, who then lost his second place to Kovalainen.’ And here’s how Greg called out the business agility analogy before the race: ‘The concept of ‘changing the wheel on a bus at 60 mph’ whilst evocative actually suggests a capability that could be construed as downright dangerous, even if it were possible - similarly changing the engine on a plane mid-flight! I think a better analogy along the same lines is the ability of a Formula 1 pit crew to change from dry tyres to wet tyres in 10 seconds. Here we have a sophisticated sense and respond mechanism, executed faultlessly, with the ability to directly impact outcomes. If you predict the weather conditions better than your competitors, respond appropriately and carry out the pit stop perfectly you will create a significant opportunity to outperform your rivals.’ So, perhaps a little food for thought for the week - are the strategies we’re working with seeking to predict the weather for a specific race in 12 months time and building a business for that, or are they seeking to enhance sense making and team execution capabilities to give the best chance of achieving desired outcomes whatever the weather? (And I wonder if Greg would share with me his favourite six numbers between 1 and 49...)

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C. Bate

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