Archive for Talent Development

Driven by people; fuelled by passion

“Driven by people, fuelled by passion: advanced technology to engineer a fast changing future”; this is not simply a statement that characterises the identity of a company: it represents the essence of a unique mix of researched and applied technical know-know in Motorsport and high performance engineering guided by synergic visionary teamwork. This is YCOM , an Italian based engineering and prototyping organisation with extended global roots and reaches.

The company recently celebrated 10 years of activity within a unique setting (a classic cars and bikes museum and auction space: Ruote da Sogno) at the presence of an audience of fans (customers, suppliers, friends) and famed professionals coming from several parts of the world (some of them legendary people that have set the development paths of the field for decades through their visionary talent and still influence it in meaningful ways as for example: Gian Paolo Dallara and Mauro Forghieri.


When innovation is driven by efficiency 

YCOM’s story is ingrained within the dynamic traditions of innovations rooted in Motorsport and high performance engineering that have characterised the last 10 years of innovation generated at first in Motorsport and then progressively reaching automotive mass markets in several segments.

Nicola Scimeca and Mario Saccone , YCOM co-founders, have shared with the audience the highlights of 10 years remarkably intense and rich of relevant projects. Projects that have demonstrated the high level of respect and consideration that the company has been able to conquer, retain and multiply through projects commissioned by (and developed in partnership with) key Motorsport and automotive brands.

YCOM is a classic case-study to represent the relevance and reach of technological Italian Small and Medium Enterprises that are leveraging their growth on the development and application of their unique know-how to clients project.

The difference that they make is generated by a visionary application of know-how focusing on innovative solutions to constantly improve performance; solutions that hinge on talent that has been nurtured progressively within the company. YCOM projects are characterised by a marked level of overall efficiency on execution relevant to the innovative projects they tackle.

On these basis YCOM is set to strengthen and increase its presence and reach in in meaningful and lasting ways.


Videos about #YCOM10years

Event short video:

Event complete video:

Introduction video:

Video Italian Stig:

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Il 13 aprile scorso una significativa rappresentanza del Motorsport Italiano si è data appuntamento a Roma, presso il NOVOTEL EUR, per il primo incontro dell’Associazione Motorsport Italia in occasione del primo ePrix di Formula E nella capitale.

L’obiettivo dell’incontro è stato raggiunto: riscontrare interesse, argomenti e condizioni per poter sviluppare sinergie strutturate nel settore e supportarne costruttivamente la crescita organizzativa allo scopo di cogliere e generare opportunità di espansione a livello nazionale e internazionale (altro…)

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What is it all about after all? The happiness factor…

An unsettling paradox: over fifty years of marked progress yet we are not any happier…

Why does a leading economist write a book about ‘soft stuff’ such as happiness? Even more puzzling: why does he title the book “Happiness. Lessons from a new science”? Richard Layard is the founder of a relevant economics research center within the London School of Economics, author of several academic books on topics such as unemployment and inequality. This latest effort of his is truly ground braking and starts from a simple observation: “There is a paradox at the heart of our lives. Most people want more income and strive for it. Yet as Western societies have got richer, their people have become not happier. This is no old wives’ tale. It is a fact proven by many pieces of scientific research. As I’ll show, we have good ways to measure how happy people are, and all the evidence says that on average people are no happier today than people were fifty years ago. Yet at the same time average incomes have more than doubled. This paradox is equally true for the United States and Britain and Japan”. Layard in this book tries to go to the roots of this paradox and in the process makes a strong case for learning how to use the ‘science of happiness’ in our daily lives while supporting the argument to raise this science to the level of public political debate and action.

The seven factors that influence happiness

Layard points out seven factors that are key to the perception of happiness. They are (altro…)

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Silicon Valley is the cradle of a unique way relevant to innovation, entrepreneurship and global business development. To note that this legendary geographical does not simply relate to the latest technological developments but also to the way they are stimulated and made grow through original business models and a business ecosystem that in terms of structure and mindset is arguably still unrivalled on a global scale. We have had the opportunity to talk to an Italian student that has recently had an in depth organised learning experience there. (altro…)

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Change made possible by brain plasticity

Change or Die : the research, the article and the relevant book are over 10 years old, yet the topic is ever relevant: #change is no longer an option, is no-other-way one-way path.

Synaptic Development

We need to realise that we can be in control of it, rather than being victim of it, by leveraging on natural aspects as #brainplasticity and tools as #framing and #reframing #thinking and #communication

Posted in: A tutto gas, Talent Development

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The leveraging power of the humanities becomes stronger in a technological world

An article published on latest July-August issue of the Harvard Business Review, titled “Liberal Arts in the Data Age” and authored by JM Olejarz points out how the humanities can have a driving role within the imagination needed to channel the potential of technologies; technologies that by now are growing at a faster and faster pace with increasing market impacts in a wider range of fields.

The famous quote by Albert Einstein “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand” creates a framework for this fine balance and synergy between imagination and technology.

Erik Kim recently wrote a blog article entitled “10 lessons Pablo Picasso can teach you” and quite interestingly he lists a series of actual tools that have been utilised by the artists to develop his masterpieces and that nowadays can represent actual ways to drive such technological developments.

In my opinion this represents a fundamental perspective that enlightens the increasing relevance of the human factor within a changing world strongly impacted by change fuelled by Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and other systemic approaches that appear to sideline people.

This entire topic is up for a necessary debate from many different perspectives.

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An interview with the experienced Motorsport Psychologist, Lorenzo Baldassarri (he has been working with several racing drives competing in series spanning from karting to F1) relevant to his innovative and effective drivers’ mental training program.

You have been working with Motorsport drivers racing in karts at the international level as well as in single-seaters series all the way up to F1. Given your studies and direct on-the-field experiences, what are the three factors that make the functional psychology approach so suitable for the field?

During the last few years I have been working with young kart drivers, learning about many situations in which a young person makes the first steps in Motorsport.

For example I remember fondly the work done with Charles Leclerc when he started to race in kart.

The work with professional drivers at Motorsport’ top level is different. Among some of them I have been working with, Markus Eriksson in F1, all of the drivers of the BMW DTM and Hayden Paddon for for concerns rallies. 

I would like to summarise the model that I utilise while preparing such athletes, it is called Functional Psychology and it is characterised by three elements: it is a modern psychological theory, very scientific and pragmatic, integrating psychological and physiological aspects, in other words Functional Psychology does not utilise simply words to intervene, better yet works at the cognitive, emotional, physiological and postural / muscular level; the second important factor is relevant to the practical tools that the driver can utilise when necessary during the race; the third factor is that it does not simply focus on motivational or behavioural issues: it interacts with personality deep functional factors that allow for lasting results making the driver autonomous and strong in the way he manages his/her resources. This is a key aspect of the program: making sure that the driver acquires a sense of aware and constructive self-reliance while managing delicate situations on track and off track.

Often key racing moments, as for example, race-starts bear excessive psychological pressure that influences negatively performance, have you dealt with it while working with drivers? what were the results? why?

I work with the driver for two specific situation: the key moments and the overall management of the race (considering that for a driver also the pre-race phase is also very important). 

Pressure is no doubt one of the factor that can influence negatively the performance of a driver. It is possible to find several aspects of it to deal specifically with: pressure perceived during pre-race (performance anxiety); during specific moments as for example the start; pressure that increases during the race because the driver is not able to manage the unfolding events handling at best his/her emotions and energy; in addition what I define pressure extra-race meaning the one that relates to relations with sponsors, ambition to always be at the very top, family, media, progress within the career ladder and so forth. 

Through my Action Procedural Protocol we proceed to build or strengthen the inner capabilities of a driver that are needed to manage at best such levels of pressure and stress being of inner or outer origin. The results reached through this program are excellent because they do not relate simply to a motivational or cognitive work, better yet we operate on the fundamental working of the overall mind-body system that are needed to react in an optimal way to pressure such as: calmness, consistency (that means to believe in ourselves and our skills), letting to (a concrete skill relevant to relaxing), the power of calmness (the underlining strength that makes us feel that we can overcome difficulties or endure through difficult situations) in addition to other aspects. In any case the drivers get used to utilise at best those underling capabilities that become aspects expressed automatically and tending to be eventually self-managed.

Do you use any specific tools while working with drivers? What is their function on the overall process?

Within the Procedural Protocol that I have created for the training of athletes several tools and machines are utilised, for example: measuring psychological and physiological variables, concentration improvement, tools to manage energy and body. 

Tools supporting the Functional Psychology approach

The real Innovation of the program consists in what are called: Functional Techniques. The Functional Techniques (that can be utilised correctly only by Functional Psychologists) are specific action relevant to the psyche and body through which we proceed to improve and boost the power of the above mentioned overall underling factors, in other words the aspects from which depend our behaviours, our potentialities and our limits.

In your experience does the approach work best with younger drivers or age is not a factor?

The Procedural Protocol has the relevant characteristic to fit any single driver depending on the very own unique characteristics, age being a key factor, and in relation to his/her specific needs. Specifically for what concerns young drivers I believe it is more correct to talk about ‘personal overall athletic growth’ rather then simply mental training. These young people are at the beginning of their career and what they can acquire from a physiological and physical point of view by working on themselves will create solid foundations that are going to last throughout their lives inside and outside the track. 

For what concerns drivers that are already within an adulthood we can talk about pure mental training. Those drivers already have a set mental structure developed through the years, and for that, for the majority of the cases the work that we perform concerns only the optimisation of physiological – physical management of resources. At the same time if an athlete has never gone thorough a professional mental training (obviously valid and scientific) will never be able to express of his/her potentialities even while reaching the top levels of a given sport!

Does this approach contribute to performance improvements that go also beyond the racing tracks?

I take advantage of this question to clarify a key issue: going through a mental training, even if solid and scientific does not guarantee winning on track. There are other factors at play: talent, vehicle, driving technique. At the same time I can state that a marked improvement of the mental program, even reaching consistent wins, has happened to drivers that we have worked with.

What is a key piece of advice that you would give to any driver that is determined to develop a long lasting, high performance, career?

Certainly to work on their abilities to manage energy. Too often we face activities, most of all if high level ones, thinking that our resources are endless, that we will be able to endure physical challenges, workloads, pressure and stress. In reality such abilities are not endless: mind and body (that always work together in great connection) are subject to wear and tear, efforts, we can get chronic stress illnesses, turning into medical consequences (it can even happen that we are no longer able to feel if we are tired or not). 

All of this if we want lasting careers, in which to obtain satisfactory results and wins, is a factor that must be taken into consideration!

Synergy Pathways Motorsport Academy partners with Lorenzo Baldassarri and his colleagues at Eljos to develop the career of racing drivers.

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Time to ask the tough questions

#Technology is more then ever driving #organizations from an operational and strategic perspective, yet the real question to its developement relates to how it can finally #empower an higher level of #humanpotential expression in organizations.

There is no longer time to wait and actually technology is accelerating all of this too.

An anteresting article for the MIT Sloan Review:

The Question Every Executive Should Ask

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An all-stars team presents relevant challenges related to egos from many perspectives. Yet this can be turned into a boost in productivity and effectiveness through making sure that the focus becomes on: a common project which results present benefits for all; the practical and pragmatic value of diversity is understood as a key leverage towards that target; and, essential factor, roles are well to make sure that any single star is going to shine from a clearly identifiable unique spotlight. For all of this a marked authoritative, assertive and overall positively charismatic leadership is essential.

Interesting Harvard Business Review Blog read:

How to manage a team of all stars

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Time for people skills! Artificial Intelligence can do the rest

People Skills (creativity, social networking, collaboration) are set to continue increasing their relevance within work contexts in with Artificial Intelligence is rapidly going to take over many of the tasks currently part of management today.

Happy and successful team of colleagues sitting together to work out business plans

An very interesting and self-explanatory video.

Posted in: A tutto gas, Innovation, Talent Development

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