Mclaren

Author
Discussion

tigerkoi

2,328 posts

135 months

Saturday 29th December 2018
quotequote all
b0rk said:
tigerkoi said:
I think the problems McLaren seem to have are growing pains. They’re in the middle. They aren’t a startup nor are they a supersized international conglomerate. But within its three or so divisions, the F1 team needs to act nimbly (like a startup) yet is surrounded by an organisation that’s trying to think it’s a big corporate.

Can it work? I think it’s possible. But only with the right management structures and a degree of latitude afforded to the F1 unit.
Through it all, understanding the dynamics behind organisations, small, medium and large, how they tick and operate is a large key to figuring out why.
The problem is that a front running F1 team based on the organisation size and budget required to be successful are very much not startups and need to act like proper grown up business if it/they are to last over an extended duration. Remember back in the 90's and early naughties they had hundreds of employees.

If you look at the successful startups that have grown into big business and for that matter successful big corporate entities there is a common theme that the businesses are usually structured into smaller reporting units, which themselves are structured as collections of units/teams with the authority to make decisions and get stuff done.

IMHO the problem with startups that grow and many large corporates can be the management and reporting structures to make decisions are so convoluted as they're based on what worked when the business was small. This means that by the time a decision has been made it is probably wrong as the "market" / competitors have moved on.

The drawback with "agile" businesses particularly large ones is that senior managlement doesn't and should know or understand the decisions being made at the coal face to speak. Yet when things are not working the temptation is strong by said managers to have all decisions referred up to them, so that they can explain in detail what is going on when questioned. This IMHO becomes a spiral of poor decisions and under performance as when it had previously all worked they where not making the important decisions anyway rather the many tiers of management/staff below them where.
I think you’re compounding my point and I very much agree with what you say. F1 teams are pretty sizeable entities and with growth (personnel mainly) comes the layering and then the committees and then the untimely decision making...

But I think my point still stands in that McLaren or for that matter any singularly focussed org or business unit, needs to work nimbly to claw back its way to par & higher performance. On top of that I’d say that there are fewer excuses for say McLaren F1 to get in shape in comparison to say a fully formed company with similar numbers of employees but spread out in teams that do purchasing, HR, IT, production etc etc. All the F1 unit has to achieve is two cars on the track.

Simplified and dumbed down obviously; but it’s for this reason why the turnaround should be easier than in another scenario. As a parallel I’d say Williams F1 have a bigger problem than McLaren F1. Claire Williams hasn’t just the two racing cars to worry about, but also paying employees each month across the spectrum of business teams, having the lawn mowed regularly, and just keeping the roof over the factory. Zak Brown doesn’t have that problem. He’s just running a unit in a bigger enterprise where all that stuff is dealt with.

Performance of a team within and outside of larger corporate structures is an interesting (often theoretical though) issue.

A few years back I argued vociferously (Fortune 500 company, managing an unfeasibly broad spans & layers project) that a particular department should either be spun out or handled at arms length in order for its performance to really help impact the wider organisation. At decision time I was argued down by pretty much everyone. I really felt it’s independence and ability to hire/fire, work their staff in the way that suited them to deliver on the units’ goals, was something worth pushing. The argument back - too risky, immature team, budgetary positioning etc..

Anyway, lost that one. About two years later what happens? The team is considered the “Answer”. It’s fashionable what they do, and every CEOs favourite buzzword. They gain their own space, freedom from corporate antibodies etc. But when performance was being analysed - weak btw - I argued back at the same table with similar cast of senior colleagues that we should drag the unit back in, to reset focus and align them with what the company needed. In brief, it was a rogue outfit, with nil output.

Long and short of it though was that we ended up agreeing what the issue really was: leadership. The earlier corporate argument basically centred on the view that the original unit leader was a visionary, but couldn’t be trusted with £ms of budget, few goals and based in another part of town. He subsequently left. And just when the company got serious about what the unit could do, the replacement boss - a plodder, control freak - ended up crushing the nascent, startup spirit of the team, making many leave, and hence even lousier performance.

It’s always about the people isn’t it? We need more robots! hehe

Fortitude

292 posts

129 months

Tuesday 1st January
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Alonso steps away amid McLaren woes

Resume of the career of Fernando Alonso;

https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/fernando-alonso...

MartG

13,404 posts

141 months

Thursday 3rd January
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New car to be revealed on 14th of Feb

https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/mclaren-2019-ca...

turbomoped

524 posts

20 months

Thursday 3rd January
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things looking up now and it was good to see sainz show how good he was in the last race. Its easier to be patient as they climb back to the top when you are young.

Piginapoke

644 posts

122 months

Thursday 3rd January
quotequote all
MartG said:
New car to be revealed on 14th of Feb

https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/mclaren-2019-ca...
It will be bare. Chandon, Kimoa, NTT have all left.

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carl_w

6,197 posts

195 months

Thursday 3rd January
quotequote all
Piginapoke said:
It will be bare. Chandon, Kimoa, NTT have all left.
Estrella Galicia?

Piginapoke

644 posts

122 months

Thursday 3rd January
quotequote all
carl_w said:
Estrella Galicia?
Nothing announced

tigerkoi

2,328 posts

135 months

Thursday 3rd January
quotequote all
Piginapoke said:
MartG said:
New car to be revealed on 14th of Feb

https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/mclaren-2019-ca...
It will be bare. Chandon, Kimoa, NTT have all left.
Reminds me of all those scrabble type games where people hold on just too long to score with that Q, J or Z letter all to nail that juicy triple word score. And the opportunity never materialises.

There seems to be a lot of oscillating going on in McLaren’s marketing dept. Either an assorted range of sponsors with no obvious fit or synergy (brand, logo colours, integration opportunity) or its nothing at all.

Like they can’t make their mind up.

Like they have no deeper plan. A strategy, perhaps.

All over the place, they are. Shaikh Mohammad may have a major in Economic Theory, but with Ojjeh’s health issues, and doing all the other things he does do (Gulf Air, whispering in the Crown Princes ear etc) I get the feeling that the wider McLaren group is a bit rudderless, nevermind the likes of Zak Brown wandering around.

The F1 component should be seen as the jewel of the organisation. The halo that drives the wider brand. So you buy that 600 LT or call them up to design a hi-tech solution for your soon-to-be-launched exotic lawnmower or something.

I doubt Flewitts grand idea of floating McLaren Automotive again would get much love: like Aston Martin, reality kicks in as to exactly what people think your brand is worth. And it’s not helped by the F1 team floundering around.

It’ll be a tense couple of months for sure within the factory.

Piginapoke

644 posts

122 months

Thursday 3rd January
quotequote all
tigerkoi said:
Piginapoke said:
MartG said:
New car to be revealed on 14th of Feb

https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/mclaren-2019-ca...
It will be bare. Chandon, Kimoa, NTT have all left.
Reminds me of all those scrabble type games where people hold on just too long to score with that Q, J or Z letter all to nail that juicy triple word score. And the opportunity never materialises.

There seems to be a lot of oscillating going on in McLaren’s marketing dept. Either an assorted range of sponsors with no obvious fit or synergy (brand, logo colours, integration opportunity) or its nothing at all.

Like they can’t make their mind up.

Like they have no deeper plan. A strategy, perhaps.

All over the place, they are. Shaikh Mohammad may have a major in Economic Theory, but with Ojjeh’s health issues, and doing all the other things he does do (Gulf Air, whispering in the Crown Princes ear etc) I get the feeling that the wider McLaren group is a bit rudderless, nevermind the likes of Zak Brown wandering around.

The F1 component should be seen as the jewel of the organisation. The halo that drives the wider brand. So you buy that 600 LT or call them up to design a hi-tech solution for your soon-to-be-launched exotic lawnmower or something.

I doubt Flewitts grand idea of floating McLaren Automotive again would get much love: like Aston Martin, reality kicks in as to exactly what people think your brand is worth. And it’s not helped by the F1 team floundering around.

It’ll be a tense couple of months for sure within the factory.
Particularly as sponsor recruitment was the one thing Zak was meant to be good at!

lbc

2,546 posts

154 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
With Zak Brown being American....

Everyone knows the yanks don't do corners, so the the McLaren is never going to be quick. wink

MartG

13,404 posts

141 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
lbc said:
With Zak Brown being American....

Everyone knows the yanks don't do corners, so the the McLaren is never going to be quick. wink
Just to point out that of the 17 races in this years Indycar series, only 5 are on ovals - Americans can do corners just fine wink

Fortitude

292 posts

129 months

Saturday 5th January
quotequote all
"McLaren has not won since 2012 and it has endured 99 Grands Prix without registering a podium finish."

Sentence taken from the following article;

Carlos Sainz Jr. has 'lots of trust' in McLaren ability to recover from slump

https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/21132

The new eagerly anticipated MCL34 chassis will be carrying, 'lots of trust', lots of fingers crossed, lots of lucky charms and bracelets... ...and anything and everything else, that can make it GO MUCH, MUCH FASTER...

cuprabob

7,076 posts

151 months

Thursday 10th January
quotequote all
Andreas Seidl: McLaren appoint German as new boss of Formula 1 team - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/46816256

Smollet

4,392 posts

127 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/141021/mclaren-e...
One day the car might live up to the hype preceding it. Is this the car that will?

LaurasOtherHalf

14,201 posts

133 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Zak Brown talks pure ste I’m afraid. I also find it difficult to take a man who wears sports team wear stretched over an epic paunch, talk about sport seriously as well.

They’re expecting a good car? That’s it? He’s the king of waffle (as in speaking a load of waffle, not eating them although that could be the case as well).

I can’t recal one statement from him where he acknowledges the teams shortcomings or explained their poor performance in real terms at that present time.

It’s always after the fact. Always the preoblems were last season, this season will be different. Over and over.

How can management focus on the issues if they can’t see where they are wrong?

I can’t help but think he’s the man least suited to sport in F1 and his management seems to be equally as poor. Is he there because no one else better is available?

n3il123

1,542 posts

150 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
I can't get over the management structure there:

Zak Brown - CEO
Jonathon Neale - COO Mclaren Group
Gil De Ferran - Sporting Director
Simon Roberts - COO Mclaren Racing
John Cooper - Chief Business Officer
Peter Prodromou - Chief Enginerr Aero
Paul James - Team Manager

And now they have got Andreas Seidl joining from Porsche in a as yet unannounced position.

With a management structure like that i'm not surprised they don't know what they're doing!

ralphrj

2,751 posts

128 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
LaurasOtherHalf said:
Zak Brown talks pure ste I’m afraid. I also find it difficult to take a man who wears sports team wear stretched over an epic paunch, talk about sport seriously as well.

They’re expecting a good car? That’s it? He’s the king of waffle (as in speaking a load of waffle, not eating them although that could be the case as well).

I can’t recal one statement from him where he acknowledges the teams shortcomings or explained their poor performance in real terms at that present time.

It’s always after the fact. Always the preoblems were last season, this season will be different. Over and over.

How can management focus on the issues if they can’t see where they are wrong?

I can’t help but think he’s the man least suited to sport in F1 and his management seems to be equally as poor. Is he there because no one else better is available?
I don't think I can find a word in there that I would disagree with.

When Zak Brown was first announced I thought it was a good appointment but as more time passes he seems to be full of nothing but hot air.

Still, a stopped clock is right twice a day so maybe it will be a good car. Then again....

thegreenhell

4,924 posts

156 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
ralphrj said:
When Zak Brown was first announced I thought it was a good appointment but as more time passes he seems to be full of nothing but hot air.
He was originally hired in a commercial role reporting to Ron Dennis, who was still in charge of the team at the time. He was supposedly going to get the new sponsors rolling in. Having completely failed on that front, he seems to have somehow ended up in charge of the whole party after the coup to remove RD, despite apparently having no prior experience of running a company of this size. I have no idea how he has achieved this.

Kraken

632 posts

137 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
If people were only allowed to run businesses of the same size as their previous one then we would very quickly run out of CEO's.

You could say the same about F1 drivers. How dare they think they can drive an F1 car when they only have experience of lesser machines.

Vaud

30,525 posts

92 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
thegreenhell said:
He was originally hired in a commercial role reporting to Ron Dennis, who was still in charge of the team at the time. He was supposedly going to get the new sponsors rolling in. Having completely failed on that front, he seems to have somehow ended up in charge of the whole party after the coup to remove RD, despite apparently having no prior experience of running a company of this size. I have no idea how he has achieved this.
Erm, he is a very smart man (and former racer)?