Can Formula 1 Be Considered a Craft Industry?

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Ken Gordon
Strategy Consultant, United Kingdom

Can Formula 1 Be Considered a Craft Industry?

In Victor and Boynton's book 'Invented Here' (1998) it is proposed that in the strategic development of the organization there are particular and specific positions or stages of growth that are targeted as the organization consolidates its position and develops. They call them the "Five Stages of Work".

These are defined as: Craft, Mass Production, Process Enhancement, Mass-Customization and Co-configuration.

Each type of work generates and requires a certain type of knowledge and learning. They suggest that progress occurs through learning and the leveraging of the knowledge produced into new and more effective types of work.

As a specialist industry where success is based on technical and engineering innovation, should Formula 1 (the global racing sport) be considered a 'Craft Industry', or is the true nature of the collective organizations better defined as 'Mass Customization' or '(Mass) Co-configuration'?

The specific pathways for development within the Formula 1 industry result in an industry which is reflective of developments within industry in general albeit in microcosm i.e. Customer Service, Affinity Partnerships, Customer Relationship Management and Customer-Centricity.

It would appear that the stages of development may describe a circle where (mass) crafted or mass-customised products that take full advantage of an organisations distinctive competencies, developed during in its craft stage or foundational years, will be the new competitive reality.

I would suggest that this future can only be achieved where the use of information/process technology is totally aligned with the business strategy.

Source: Bart Victor and Andrew C. Boynton (1998) Invented Here: Maximizing Your Organization's Internal Growth and Profitability

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