Riccardo Paterni

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Dan Peterson. Coaching made straightforward, cherokee style!

On September 30th I have been invited by the Industrial Association of Lucca to contribute to a seminar lead by the famous basketball coach (active from1962 to 2011 and legendary in Italy for impressive international wins achieved with Bologna and a Milan teams) Dan Peterson. Nowadays he is journalist and a popular inspiring public figure regarding the overall fields of teamwork and leadership. It has been a pleasure to have the opportunity to interact with him together with the journalist Alessandro Petrini, himself an expert in basketball and coach. Peterson (he likes to be called simply ‘Coach’) is famous for his direct dynamic way to communicate, his sense of energy is very contagious and this is already setting me very comfortable and at ease with him.

Riccardo Paterni, Alessandro Petrini e Dan Peterson

Riccardo Paterni, Alessandro Petrini e Dan Peterson

I have been contributing to define the title of the event: “Bring a sense of concreteness to vision: the role of teamwork”. I meet Coach outside the beautiful Bernardini Palace in downtown Lucca. Both of us are early and he is walking impatiently back and forth. That’s him! No doubt! I introduce myself and he gives me one of his penetrating glances, I sense right away we understand each other and we are on ‘set for the show’. I need to go in other offices and I meet again him and his entourage right before the beginning of the event. The rooms of the palace still have the unique pompous decorations dating back to many decades ago. All is set and ready. The audience is mainly made by Lucca Young Entrepreneurs and the Director Andrea Vanni makes a brief welcoming speech.

Petrini introduces the event and we start to exchange thoughts related to vision and teamwork linked to sports. He has many interesting things to say about basketball. He makes a reference to my latest book and I focus on an example of current dynamics that are not effective in Motorsport for the still unclear vision and the continuously shifting roles: Ferrari recent much brisk and much discussed succession at the helm of both the company manufacturing cars and the Formula 1 team.

The stage is now ‘warm’ and set for the entrance of the Coach as according to plan. He walks in fast greeting the audience with his unique american accent made popular by unforgettable TV commercials dating a few years back. He glances at Petrini and myself, we are eagerly sitting at the table behind the podium (no way he can sit! regretfully I have to respect a minimum of protocol that the place deserves and I have to sit there): ‘come on boys start asking questions I can answer anything, almost anything”. 

Here we start the show!

His style is brisk, filled with anecdotes that he also exemplifies by moving around and even making basketball steps and moves to reinforce and exemplify teamwork ideas he points out. 

Open mind to gain awareness   He points out that for him it all began with the almost fortuitous opportunity to work as a coach for the Chile basketball team for a few months until the demise of Allende. Born and raised within the insular to the globe (as he points out) certainties of midwest America, he stresses hat he has learned from Chile much much more that he has taught there: such a different culture has opened his mind towards the world and new ideas. A first essential step towards self awareness, an aspect that he stresses as crucial to anything we are set to do.

He is clear, concise and simple (not simplistic) in the way he states things.

What coaching is all about   1) Pretending from the players  2) Give them a sense of confidence. In other words, continue to set higher and higher standards and make sure that they feel that can achieve them.

Communication as key: the powerful one  Peterson considers communication as a key to any real teamwork achievement. It is essential to look at people in the eyes for clear heart to heart conversation making sure to be sensitive in detecting and promptly addressing in a caring and straightforward way issues that trouble the minds and emotions individual team players. The ‘human touch’ is a foundation for it all and it is evident that Peterson has gained this through his intense multicultural experiences on and off the playing field. In communicating keep everything simple, focus on three concepts at most but make sure that they are understood, fully understood, and become part of the way of thinking and acting of the player. As a coach do not overcommunicate  because this simply sends messages of fear to the team, the team has to be protected from fear, it needs to be driven by high standards and an increased sense of confidence.

All is flowing and dynamic today, yet some key principles stick…   Coach looks straight in my eyes and asks for one more question, we all sense it is going to be the last definitive one. I state that many things he is stating related to working in a team set on defined models and actions; at the same time nowadays organisations confront themselves with continuos changes in a very dynamic way and this certainly impacts teamwork. Earlier I had pointed out that to me there are two levels of teamwork: the daily one related to tasks performance (for example changing tyres in F1 in 2 seconds) and the strategic operational ones concerning vision and its implementation (the one were Ferrari F1 is failing now). Nevertheless I underline that some key principles he points out represent essential foundations even for nowadays workplaces. He acknowledges my thinking matching it with some examples while briskly walking towards the audience.

The cherokee way   He ends the meeting with a special positive uplifting greeting made with a sign language that he translates into words. He says that 1/64 of his blood is cherokee. Cherokee communicate in sign language in a way that is straightforward, direct, self-assured, personable, simple and inspiring at the same time. That is exactly Coach! That 1/64 of cherokee blood is possibly the one taking over and that gives him his unique sense of identity and contagious energy.

Thank you for the lasting lessons Coach!


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Seminario “Internazionalizzare per Crescere” presso Assindustria Lucca

Assieme al collega Andrea Morici (anche lui autore e blogger Lifeplan) abbiamo curato questo seminario presso Assindustria Lucca il 16 di settembre. E’ stato molto interessante confrontarci con aziende piccole e medie che stanno introducendosi, o già si sono introdotte, sul mercato globale e approfondire non solo i tipici aspetti riguardanti lo sviluppo strategico e pratico di questi progetti ma anche tutto ciò che riguarda le dinamiche di leadership, comunicazione e lavoro in gruppo che sono alla base di queste importanti scelte aziendali. Scelte che oggi rappresentano sempre più un percorso obbligato non solo per la crescita ma anche per la sopravvivenza di molte realtà organizzative.

Assieme ad Andrea Morici introduco il seminario che si è tenuto presso la Sala Puccini di Assindustria Lucca

Assieme ad Andrea Morici introduco il seminario che si è tenuto presso la Sala Puccini di Assindustria Lucca

In particolare abbiamo evidenziato come le dinamiche di innovazione (collegate anche all’approccio pragmatico, e raggiungibile da molte aziende PMI, evidenziato nel libro “Innovazione a tutto gas!” innovazioneatuttogas.it ) e di cambiamento rappresentino strumenti chiave a qualsiasi progetto di internazionalizzazione. Assieme ad Andrea faremo altri seminari su queste tematiche in altre zone d’Italia. Cambiamento, innovazione per internazionalizzazione!

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“Go ahead, make my day!” Do we have the courage to express our best, Clint Eastwood style? ;)

Somehow I always find myself ‘sleepwalking’ into bookstores; no matter what part of the globe I am there is some sort of unique magnet in me regarding bookstores. Even if I mostly read books off the Kindle App on my iPad, I still enjoy walking to the cash counter with an actual paper book that somehow stuck to my hands. This time around I was in Orlando – Florida and the book was “American Rebel. The Life of Clint Eastwood” by Marc Eliot.

“Go ahead, make my day!” is the famous quote by Eastwood’ Inspector Harry Callahan, a rough and very direct character. Eastwood has made his day by showing the courage to go well beyond the profession of actor, a profession he was able to carve for himself after a struggling start from the scratch. 

Clint Eastwood: actor, producer, movie director

Clint Eastwood: actor, producer, movie director … everything at the very top!

I have always been fascinated by his somewhat mysterious versatility comprised in his stare. I always thought that there was more to him that a way Sergio Leone (whom directed him in the legendary ‘spaghetti western’) described his acting: “He has two acting expressions: one with the hat, the other one without the hat”. 

He started his career from nothing (and with nothing) as a C level movie actor; he had the good looks and he was in the right place within the right geographical networks: Hollywood and Los Angeles. After a few years he got a role within a popular cowboy US TV series: “Rawhide”. The series got notoriety in several countries outside of the US; in Japan TV viewers got fascinated by it and Clint begun to experience what being an international movie star meant. Years ahead he would become more and more used to it becoming, during the ‘70s, the number one movie star in the world making himself and many people in Hollywood rich in the process.

Eastwood versatility has been shown by the many roles he has played through his career but mostly through the fact that he, very early in his career (during filming of the “Rawhide” series), got himself involved in the overall movie making process: from selecting the script, to contributing to its screenplay development, to learning all that there was to learn ‘behind the scenes’ (often sticking around with backstage workers to ‘learn the trade’ while other actor colleagues already had taken off a headed towards more relaxing times).   

Eventually this lead to four Oscars: two for best movie (‘Unforgiven’ – 1992 and ‘Million Dollar Baby’ – 2004) and two for best director (still ‘Unforgiven’ and ‘Million Dollar Baby’). He never got the best actor award but his lead-role in ‘Gran Torino’ – 2008 (once again a movie made by Clint involving also his very own production company – Malpaso) was unanimously deserving one (expect for the Oscars inner circle…).

This has got me thinking about how many of us have the courage ‘to go for it’, telling to reality “Go ahead, make my day!”  not in arrogant aggressive way, just in humble and determined one; focusing on continuos learning and maintaining a vision for self-growth and progress no matter what. Our challenging times increasingly demand for this kind of attitude and mindset. “Let’s go ahead! Let’s make our day!”.


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In presa diretta da Daytona!

(pubbicato da ReportMotori.it)

Da sempre Daytona è nell’immaginario collettivo di noi appassionati di Motorsport.

Riccardo alla guida approccia una delle paraboliche di Daytona...

Riccardo alla guida approccia una delle paraboliche di Daytona…

La 500 miglia e la 24 ore di Daytona, rappresentano appuntamenti immancabili e riferimenti storici sportivi indiscussi.

Tutto è cominciato più di sessanta anni fa dalla spiaggia in sabbia naturalmente battuta di Daytona Beach con le scorribande delle tipiche‘muscle cars’ americane, ‘auto muscolose’ con i poderosi V8 truccati che davano il senso della velocità nei lunghissimi dritti e poi lasciano a desiderare nelle curve, ma questo non importava. Le curve iniziarono a divenire più importanti quando fu costruita (su un terreno altrettanto piatto e sabbioso) la pista che da tempo ha varie configurazioni: dal triovale di 4km con curve paraboliche (fino a 31 gradi di inclinazione!) utilizzato per la 500 miglia o altre configurazioni di percorsi misti come quello che viene usato per la 24 ore di Daytona.

23 Agosto 2014. Sono a Daytona all’International Speedway che dapprima volevo semplicemente visitare, trovandomi per ragioni lavorative in Florida, poi mi sono reso conto che potevo pure girare in pista con unaNASCAR!

Tutto grazie ad un programma che l’organizzazione Richard Petty Driving Experience ha iniziato a sviluppare dal alcuni anni fa su varie piste negliUSA. Petty si è ritirato da molti anni dalle competizioni ma continua ad essere una leggenda negli States per i numerosi titoli vinti in NASCAR e soprattutto per il modo deciso con cui lo ha fatto. Nel creare il programma ha utilizzato al meglio la sua immagine, il suo ‘brand’, per dare a tutti gli appassionati l’opportunità di vivere sulla propria pelle emozioni racing veramente uniche ‘Authentic Nascar Entertainment‘ e’ lo slogan chiave del programma.

Mi iscrivo al programma sul loro sito, tutto ottimamente organizzato e molto chiaro: cosa comprende, cosa non comprende, responsabilità, rischi e da subito si mette in evidenza che si tratta di un programma di High Performance Safe Entertainment (divertimento e sicurezza sono valori chiave che permeano concretamente, in tutti i dettagli, il programma). Sono con un amico e arriviamo alla pista che dall’esterno sembra un vero e proprio megastadio; ha un che di maestoso che incute un senso di storia e di rispetto; si notano subito le colline artificiali create ad-hoc per le paraboliche.

Nell’ingresso centrale c’è una sezione dedicata al programma dove una signora dai candidi capelli bianchi e dal sorriso rassicurante di una nonna verifica la tua iscrizione e ti stampa il dorso di una mano, pronti a partire! procedere in auto verso la parte interna del circuito attraverso il sottopassaggio 4! arriviamo al  (il testo originale continua su Reportmotori.it )

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Always a new fun challenge! This time lapping at Daytona with a NASCAR at 265 km/h!

I always wanted to try American style racing with pure American style cars.

Well, as it always happens, you create your own opportunities… This is what happened yesterday at Daytona… driving at around 265 km/h is incredible fun and even relaxing even if there were some quite different driving aspects that I was not used to (speed not a problem).

Weirdest thing: the incredible set-up to pull on the left that you feel mostly in the straight… the high banks (around 31 degrees) are very interesting: they push to go flat-out right away even if, when you realise the strength of that continuos pull in the straight, you become thereafter more cautious to make sure you don’t mess up in the straight ending up too close to the wall for the next entrance and exit.

The instructor Robert Portano was great and as we can see at some times I got him a little scared because of my hi banks exits… 😉 I am sure he played a little bit with the power tool to cool me down (and it could be rightly so even if during the last two laps – basically we got six overall excluding the warm up and cool down ones – I felt more and more comfortable also with the seating position not easy to adjust to (many people and of all different sizes jump in) I felt either crammed or too much laying back… much better to be crammed with this kind of cars and tracks 😉 and that is what I picked.

Overall just need to learn to: foot down all over (done that) work well the wheel in the very unnatural way to many (got better and better) and keep the right lines (got better and better). If I had listened to Rusty (crew chief) and added right away some more laps (why not a credit card swipe right in the car 😉 ) I would have reached the very top of the car given car potential (set to no go over 170 mph for insurance purposes).

Overall a great experience. The Richard Petty Driving Experience is no doubt a unique program driven by focusing on Pure Speed matched by Entertainment and Safety for all! Only in America! 😉 (at least for now…)


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Innovation Full Throttle! About the visionary Motorsport University Project…

From ReportMotori.it

The avant-garde project of the Motorsport University is coming to life.

As future director of the  Giovanni Alberto Agnelli racetrackWalter Sciacca‘s statements on a racetrack which will open in September 2015 are recent. It is a structure which will bring with it not only passion but a concrete breath of fresh air and innovation in a world – the world of motorsport – which has always been a passion for thousands of people.

Walter Sciacca

Walter Sciacca

It is a question of innovation but also of development and investment: the Pontedera Racetrack will bea at the heart of an important partnership between the Pont-Tech industrial Estate and MOVET, the Sant’Anna Technological Estate in Pontedera and the Navacchio Technological Estate, all of which are avant-garde technological centres, and Pisa University which has always been involved in the motorsport world thanks to ongoing research which has brought important initiatives to fruition.
At a historic juncture like this one, investing in avant-garde projects means gambling on the future with proposals which are destined to change past business models and overturn them.

Projects and theories but also forward thinking, the future Pontedera Racetrack is also featuring in a book which will generate featuring many stimuli on the future of innovation in our business and organizations.
The author of the book Innovazione A tutto gas. Da Cento Anni di Motorsport il Carburante all’Innovazione in Azienda Innovation full throttle. From One Hundred Years of Motorsport Fuel for Company Innovation) Riccardo Paterni (innovazionetuttogas.it, Edizioni Lifeplan 2013, international edition in early 2015) is an expert in innovation and internationalisation. His vision aims to help companies breathe life into and bring to fruition processes of added value generation in social and economic contexts in constant evolution.

Riccardo, in your book you articulate that innovation consists in creativity that generates added value in the perceptions of the market of reference. How will the future Pontedera racetrack promote innovation in this sense?

From this point of view the project encompasses key factors which  (continues at this link)

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Internazionalizzare? Ecco la prima domanda da porsi…

Troppo spesso si parla di internazionalizzazione con la mentalità di ‘colonizzatori’ pronti a sfruttare opportunità che mercati emergenti stanno offrendo; di fatto poi, altrettanto spesso, ci rendiamo conto che il tempo delle ‘facili colonizzazioni’ appartiene ormai alla storia: anche mercati che possono essere considerati ad alto potenziale di sviluppo falliscono nell’incontrare i risultati attesi che erano stati identificati sulla base di analisi quantitative e anche qualitative di varia natura. Tutto questo è legato a complessità sociali ed economiche che sono sempre state presenti ma che oggi, in un mondo sempre più globalizzato grazie alla tecnologia e alla comunicazione istantanea, hanno riscontrato incrementi esponenziali e continuano a farlo ad un passo sempre più marcato.

16 Settembre, presso Assindustria Lucca

16 Settembre, presso Assindustria Lucca

Per non essere travolti da queste complessità e al tempo stesso utilizzare a proprio vantaggio i fattori che le generano, il primo passo è tornare ai fondamentali: alla radice dello sviluppare qualsiasi business che possa generare risultati non solo nel breve ma anche nel medio e lungo periodo.

Poniamoci allora una domanda che troppe volte viene data per scontata troppo rapidamente e per questo mai approfondita nei suoi aspetti: ciò che offriamo sul mercato estero porta valore aggiunto nelle percezioni del cliente? e come corollario alla domanda stessa: come lo fa? perche? come possiamo incrementare questo processo? come possiamo assicurarci che questo processo continui ad essere attivo?

La risposta a questa domanda, e a tutti i suoi corollari, sta indubbiamente in una volontà e capacità di analisi quantitativa e qualitativa integrate da fattivi riscontri diretti ‘sul campo’ e soprattutto sta in un aspetto che troppe volte viene a sua volta confuso nel suo significato concettuale e pratico: innovare.

L’innovazione consiste nella capacità di sviluppare creatività che genera valore aggiunto nelle percezioni del cliente (il tema è approfondito anche nel libro innovazioneatuttogas.it ). In questo senso innovare rappresenta un motore all’internazionalizzazione, un motore che in molti casi non richiederà quegli investimenti ingenti tipicamente associati alla parola innovare…

Approfondiremo tutto questo e anche altri punti di vista sull’internazionalizzare in modo efficace ed efficiente nel corso di un incontro che si svolgerà presso Assindustria Lucca, organizzato dalla loro agenzia formativa Formetica, il 16 settembre prossimo sul tema INNOVARE PER CRESCERE. OPPORTUNITA’ DA SFRUTTARE E GENERARE. CONCRETEZZA NEL FARE. MENTALITA’ VINCENTE.  Per dettagli sui temi trattati nel corso dell’incontro e modalità di iscrizione   http://eventi.lifeplan.it/eventi/internazionalizzare-per-crescere/ .

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Luca Mazzanti: visione e concretezza da un imprenditore quarantenne di altri tempi …

Ieri ho avuto il piacere di fare visita alla Mazzanti Automobili (www.mazzantiautomobili.it) e incontrare il suo Fondatore e Presidente, Luca Mazzanti.

Luca Mazzanti e la Evantra

Luca Mazzanti e la Evantra

Abbiamo fatto una chiaccherata a tutto campo per un’oretta, in modo schietto e genuino fra toscani DOC a cui piace andare all’essenza delle cose, alle loro radici e da li costruire.

Sono rimasto affascinato dalla visione e concretezza di Mazzanti, quarantenne, unita a quell’umiltà tipica di chi ha saputo riconoscere e sviluppare giorno giorno un sano senso di identità: valori e principi su cui fare sempre leva; in qualsiasi circostanza, di fronte a qualsiasi avversità.

Una frase di Luca che mi ha colpito a livello di sviluppo personale e anche imprenditoriale è questa: “Le cose che durano nel tempo sono quelle che prima nascono robuste dal dentro e poi si sviluppano fuori, il processo inverso è destinato a non durare.”

Questa riflessione assume un significato particolare oggi, in una società, in contesti imprenditoriali, in cui è l’immagine, la forma, che rappresenta il punto di partenza per percorsi che si rivelano pieni di ‘malattie’ e dalla vita breve.

Avremo il piacere di approfondire meglio tutto il contesto della storia, presente e futuro della Mazzanti Automobili e dello spirito imprenditoriale di Luca Mazzanti, dalla prospettiva del tutto particolare del libro “Innovazione a tutto gas!” (innovazioneatuttogas.it) che sto riscrivendo e ampliando nella sua edizione internazionale.

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Brain plasticity: it is a given science. Why don’t we use it enough yet?…

For years now the concept of Brain Plasticity has been pointed out and articulated at several levels, from the deep scientific one to the one suitable (for terminology and contexts) to a wider audience.

Featured herewith is a in depth interview to Dr. Norman Doidge that first published, in 2007, a book on the subject that got noticed also by the mainstream global media “The Brain that Changes Itself. Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science” (here an interesting review from The Innovation Journal).

By becoming aware of the potential we have to shape and develop our way of thinking in more positive and active ways, we have in front of us the choice to step-up our pathway to continuos self-improvement and success (defined in any which way most suits us).

This empowers us to be more effective in our daily lives as well as professional lives, it empowers us to embrace change and uncertainty as a way towards progress and growth rather than regress and doubt, it empowers us to give our very best of our experiences (our wisdoms and insights) at any age and, most of all, it empowers us to experience and fuel a sense of hope that needs to energise ourself and from us spread contagiously to others.

Why don’t we talk more about this topic rather than letting ourselves and many other people clutter and get the potential of our brains stuck?

We do always have a choice! Let’s become aware of it and constantly use it for a better future that it is always possible, no matter what; we just need to let our brains express the very best to find solutions.

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