Covid-19, lockdowns, social distancing, all terms that changed our lives.

Over the next weeks, we will enter “Phase 2”, the “new normal” and it’s time to draw the line. Just a few weeks ago, we were sitting in our Formula 1 car in Grand Prix, never mind the position in the race, but it was all going according to plans, whatever those were.

It was at that moment that the safety car entered the circuit.

For those not familiar with racing, a few main rules about a safety car:

1.     race control sends the car in case of accidents, heavy weather conditions.

2.     it must enter in front of the leader, making the caution period start

3.     competitors cannot overtake the safety car

4.     competitors cannot overtake the car ahead of them

5.     cars can make pit-stops during the caution period

Imagine it as a shepherd dog chased by an angry herd of cars.

 With Covid-19, similarly, we are all forced to drive at a safe, pre-determined speed and we don’t know when we will see the green lights to resume the race.

A problem shared is a problem solved, right? Most companies are missing their targets, anyway.

Not really. There will still be winners and losers, and it’s in phase 1 that you prepare for phase 2.

The race becomes more competitive with groups of cars closer to each other than before. It’s disruptive but it also brings opportunities.

If you are a race leader you will get challenged and might lose your time advantage on the group. Are you doing enough to secure your position?

If you are a follower, this is a once in a lifetime chance to grab in order to gain points. What’s your plan?

1) It is a good time to rethink and adapt your strategy, do those improvements you had postponed for “the right time”.

If you haven’t moved yet, the time is now.

2) Check-in with your team in the paddock. They might be better briefed on weather condition, competitors’ insights, and they have saved your back many times with those top-class pit stops.

It might be a good moment to make one of those.

3) Do you have the right assets and tools? Oil, Brakes, tyres, etc. are they still in a condition to finish the race? Also, check tricky resources like fuel. It is not about having a full tank. It’s about having the right amount to finish the race whilst keeping the car as light as possible.

Keep moving but plan the restart carefully.

4) Catch the moment the safety car flashes a green light, you can overtake, again. That’s phase 2. You cannot miss that moment. A second too soon you get disqualified, a moment too late you might miss it.

5) But you cannot just accelerate blindly. If your competitors also speed-up suddenly, there will be a group crash. Learn to brake when needed.

Leave pride behind. It’s a long race.