A book by Harrison Withers
Foreword by Erik Buell
Business can be abstract and detached. By comparison, motorcycle racing is primal and visceral, and has an unmistakable goal.
Harrison Withers, expert talent development consultant and amateur motorcycle racer, has cleverly brought those two worlds together, finding unique parallels between concepts of business and those of motorcycle racing. He views the relationship between the two through the lens of technology, people, and performance. It all starts with the motivation to engage—why business practitioners and racers alike not only accept the risk, but embrace and ultimately love it.
Analogies abound between business and racing: Where people fit on the team, how performance is measured, how it is improved, and how to put predictive models into practice; competitive class structures, organizational design, the role of simulation in testing and practice, and race-day execution.
Harrison’s thoughts bring to light some connections we’ve never thought of before and in so doing given us a fresh perspective on business.
Book foreword by Erik Buell, motorcycling legend and managing member of Erik Buell Racing.
“Harrison Withers takes us on a fascinating, fun ride through the world of motorcycle racing, drawing parallels at every turn (get it?) to a holistic view of the performance improvement game. Seeing how performance improvement happens inside racing’s ever-measured ecosystem offers excellent food for thought, and I’d argue it’s more likely to engender change than the challenges of trying to copy a competing business’s ‘best practices’. This is a great resource for those seeking to improve the machine and the team.”
-Jane Bozarth, author of Show Your Work: The Payoffs and How-To’s of Working Out Loud
“The concept behind Organization Horsepower and how the disciplines learned from racing can be applied to business is fascinating. Ingenuity, passion, organization, competitive drive, attention to detail, the will to win, and most importantly, to never give up is common DNA amongst winning race teams… and successful companies.
Each and every day, speed is becoming the driving force in business. As quoted in this book, Hemingway said, ‘There are only three sports in this world, bullfighting, motorsports, mountaineering, everything else is just a game.’ Maybe in the 21st century, business is becoming the 4th sport.”
-Michael Czysz, Founder, MotoCzysz
“Performance is a sport – inside and outside of the workplace. We strive to thrive. Harrison Withers has written a compelling pitch for performance – using the sport of Motorcycle Racing as a powerful and useful metaphor. Talent, learning, and HR colleagues must read this – ‘start your engines’ now!”
-Elliott Masie, Chair, The Learning CONSORTIUM
“ ‘Never stop improving. The day that you do is the day you should stop racing.’ This quote by Withers nails it for me. As a business owner, I found the insightful comparisons of motorcycle racing and business come alive, helping me to remember this very important message.”
-Mitzi Taylor, Author Not So Common Courtesy – the Owner’s Manual
“Starting with racing and growing into a retail business might be a different approach than most, but with racing at the core of RidersDiscount.com it’s only natural that we carried the things that made us successful at the track into our business. With the strong drive to succeed that racing provides, we put together a racing team that was able to fight for wins at the top national level and a business team that continues to drive RidersDiscount.com to new levels of retail success. In this book, Harrison describes some of the same principles we’ve used to win on and off the track.”
-Brian Gibson, CEO RidersDiscount.com and Team Owner Riders Discount Racing
About the Author
Harrison Withers has been searching for ways to help people perform better since 1993. He has a talent for figuring out what the true cause of a problem is and what barriers need to be overcome to get a person where they want to go. He’s passionate about helping people make a measurable difference in their businesses.
A graduate of Michigan Technological University, Harrison has almost 2 decades of experience in the learning, performance improvement, and human resources fields and is expert at technology implementations linked to performance improvement including social, collaborative, and mobile technologies.
His writing and thought leadership extends through regular blogs on both business and guitar building. He has been a featured contributor for the Management Innovation eXchange with “Adapting Business Metrics to Build Credibility and Trust”. He was also the editor and curator for the self-published eBook “58 Quotes, Facts, Benchmarks, and Best Practices on People and Analytics.”
Harrison is a regular consultant to businesses that seek to significantly improve or transform their approach to talent development in the areas of onboarding, sales and leadership development. He is also a frequent speaker on talent development and the role of technology as part of a talent development strategy.
Harrison will be speaking at Elliott Masie’s Learning 2014 October 26-29 in Orlando Florida
Two talks are scheduled on the book: