As an analyst you are always looking for ways to improve your skills, to enhance how you think, to ensure your skills are at their sharpest.

For years I have followed my husband with his Radio Control Model Car Racing, his ability to drive like he’s sat in the car rather than being stood on a platform watching the car.  How hard can it be, right? Well, I’ve bitten the figurative bullet. I’ve bought a Mardave Mini, not realising that it comes in kit format, so before I even think about driving it, I first had to build it.

Now, to put this in context.  I’m now in my early 40’s and have never driven a radio control anything, so this is definitely a big challenge, but if I can do it the sense of achievement will be huge.  

So, What has this got to do with business change and Angel Analysis?

When working with a client, I need to understand what their business does, what processes they follow, what their aspirations are and how to help them get from where they are now to where they want to be.  That could be with their strategy, processes, people, technology or a combination of them all.

With model car racing there is so much to learn, it’s not just a case of navigating the track.  It’s understanding how the car is set up, what adjustments can be made, how those adjustments can help you navigate the track.  Not only that, there is understanding the track, every layout can generate new challenges.   Does it require more speed?  Are there more corners to negotiate?

Then there is the ultimate challenge, driving!  When you sit behind the wheel of a car you see things as they are.  When you want to turn left, you turn left, the same applies to turning right.  Forward is forward and reverse is reverse.  When driving a model car, you’re not sat in the car, you’re stood on a platform watching the car.  This means that when the car is driving away from you, it’s like being in the car, but what happens when you’re not in line with the car?  Your brain has to adapt and adjust.

To give an idea of scale, my car and I are circled in red.  Yes the car does look very small and sometimes I do struggle to see it at the far end of the track.

You could say, it’s looking at things from different angels, just like I would with a business.  To be that fresh set of eyes or critical friend to help identify the small details that can make a big difference and ensure that no detail is left unturned.

In terms of a model car it could be 1mm difference in the set up makes the difference between the car handling nicely or feeling out of control.  With a business it could be understanding how and when data is passed between teams and systems, then if you change one part understanding the impact it will have on the other.

Speaking of data, there are further comparisons between model car racing and business.  In business data is key, if a business understands their data it can provide great insights into internal performance, costs, client trends, understanding marketing to name a few.  Businesses aim to be both data and insight rich.  With model car racing, I can analyse the stats, how many laps have I done, what are the lap times, where are the areas of improvement.  On a lap that feels good, do the times reflect it?  When a lap has slower times, is there a reason why?

I’m two weeks in to racing now and I’m still last, but I’m good with that as everyone has to start somewhere and being at the back means there is only one way to go, up!  I have improved in my number of fully completed laps, had more laps of consistent driving (or not crashing if that’s an easier way to think about it), learned heaps about my car set up and starting to be able to feel the difference in the car.  Yes, it’s baby steps, but it’s steps in the right direction.  

I haven’t yet mastered driving, I very much still turn the wrong way, so much so that this week I opted to reverse around sections of the track as I just couldn’t work out how to turn the car around, to give my brain a moment to think rather than just react.

All of this is helping build on my confidence, giving me new ways to approach business change with clients.  Not everything is a straight line and sometimes trying to force a straight line is counterproductive.  The key is to getting it right, if the analysis is done right up front the outcome is way more satisfying and limits, if not fully removes, the amount of rework required.

So, if you’re thinking about a change in your business and want a fresh set of eyes to support your journey as a critical friend, let’s have a chat and see how Angel Analysis can work with you!

For further information please call on 07894640701 or email to discuss your specific requirements.