Archive for Talent Development

A fresh, racing like, roaring way to look at innovation!… stay tuned!

The book “Innovazione a tutto gas!” (  (title translation: Innovation Full Throttle!) has introduced a new fresh way to look at innovation inspired by the past, present and future of Motorsport.

Now the time is right to develop all of this on an international stage with the same fresh managerial approach mixed to new anecdotes and real life stories told by their direct protagonists. All of this linked in many ways to the global pulsing hearth of Motorsport and Automotive. Stay tuned to follow the fast development of a new book leading all of us to innovate… the faster and faster way! … 😉

Riccardo with Walter Sciacca and Samit Naik, co-authors of the upcoming new book ...

Riccardo with Walter Sciacca and Samit Naik, co-authors of the upcoming new book …


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Concrete link between top higher business education and International Motorsport

The University of Pisa International MBA continues its path to connect even stronger to the actual global dynamics of business involving entrepreneurs and managers with a concrete global vision.

A new entry to the MBA as a speaker is the International Motorsport entrepreneur and manager Walter Sciacca.
More information about him and these development plans in this press release

Walter Sciacca testing the cockpit of the Evantra (Mazzanti Automobili supercar) together with Luca Mazzanti

Walter Sciacca testing the cockpit of the Evantra (Mazzanti Automobili supercar) together with Luca Mazzanti

( in the picture Walter Sciacca testing the cockpit of a Mazzanti Automobili supercar manufactured nearby Pisa, in Pontedera, where a new racetrack is going to be located and managed by Sciacca )

My statement regarding this happening:

“My motto – comments Paterni – is ‘knowledge for action and action for knowledge’: knowledge and
action reinforce and develop one another and I believe that the cooperation between the International
MBA and Walter Sciacca perfectly exemplifies the concept. These days there is much talk about the
need to innovate, to create new horizons and opportunities for development and this requires the spirit
of pragmatism and visionary capacities that characterise the undisputed professionalism of Sciacca and
the driving force of our teamwork in MBA. This synergy has the potential to create something unique at
an international level regarding the identity and planning of both the Master and the innovative
development project of the Racetrack in Pontedera.”

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Walter Sciacca relatore all’International MBA dell’Università di Pisa 2015.

Da (8 ottobre 2014)

Un mio commento riguardo a questa nuova collaborazione al master in cui collaboro da cinque anni:

“Il mio motto è ‘sapere per fare e fare per sapere’: sapere e azione si rafforzano e sviluppano l’uno con l’altro e credo che la collaborazione fra l’MBA Internazionale e Walter Sciacca esemplifichi perfettamente il concetto. Di questi tempi si parla molto della necessità di innovare, di creare nuovi orizzonti e opportunità di sviluppo e il tutto richiede lo spirito di concretezza e le capacità visionarie che caratterizzano la professionalità indiscussa di Sciacca e la forza propulsiva del nostro team di lavoro all’MBA. Questa sinergia ha le potenzialità per generare qualcosa di unico a livello internazionale per quanto riguarda l’identità e la progettualità sia del Master che del progetto di sviluppo innovativo dell’Autodromo di Pontedera.”


Giunto alla VI edizione, il prestigioso International MBA potrà contare nella prossima edizione anche sul contributo di uno dei top manager di punta del motorsport mondiale

Cinque anni di successi, cinque continenti, cinque specificità professionali prevalenti: è con questi presupposti che si prepara a partire la nuova (la sesta) edizione del Master in Business Administration (MBA) dell’Università di Pisa.

Riccardo, Walter Sciacca, Giulio Greco

Riccardo, Walter Sciacca, Giulio Greco

Tra le punte di diamante dell’Ateneo pisano, l’MBA si sviluppa nell’arco di un anno, è totalmente in lingua inglese e, tra i propri palmarès, annovera la più alta incidenza di studenti stranieri (oltre il 90 per cento), provenienti da tutti i continenti e in possesso di background professionali che spaziano tra vari settori: ingegneria, economia e finanza, scienza, organizzazione, comunicazione.

New entry di pregio nel corpo docenti

Tra le grandi novità dell’Anno Accademico 2015 spicca la presenza di Walter Sciacca,  imprenditore e manager di primo piano nel mondo dell’automotive e del motosport internazionale. Farà parte del corpo docenti in veste di Relatore…  (continua su


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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!” ) 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

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 )

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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…


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

As future director of the  Giovanni Alberto Agnelli racetrack, Walter 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 (, 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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