Liberty Media bought in 2016 the Formula One organization and implemented Chase Carey as its new director. The new owner changed the championship’s strategy and brought the series a bit more back to roots and with this, nearer to the fans. As part of this, drivers and teams gained more possibilities to interact with their fans, including on social media platforms.
The 2017 Barcelona grand prix saw an entertaining race, where Mercedes driver Luis Hamilton won with less than 4 seconds advantage before Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Noticeable had been also the start where in the first curve Valterri Bottas, Kimi Raikkkonen und Max Verstappen had to experience that there was only place for two cars. The result: Bottas could continue, but Räikkönen and Verstappen had been out of the race. On the main tribune, a small Kimi fan broke out in tears, what cameras effectively showed for the millions of TV viewers in the whole world. The Ferrari team saw it too, and decided to act. Their press team tracked down the boy and his family and invited them to the motor-home, where he not only could see the cars, but met Kimi, who gave him his Ferrari cap. Little Thomas not stayed only with the Scuderia, but met also other drivers as Haas’ Romain Grosjean and started his reporter career with interviewing the Renault team. Without doubt, the misery turned into his happiest day so far.
As Chase Carey stated later, such an action had not been possible last year with the anterior processes and guidelines. Now with less rules, the teams have more freedom to act based on their own decisions and so on their values and attitudes. Ferrari’s corporate values include excellence, connected with passion. As they appreciate their fans (which automatically are potential clients for the merchandising), they acted accordingly. They stopped their actual tasks to show heart, what was not only in benefit for the young fan, but also for their own employees, directly inside the race-team, in the factory and sales-rooms. A message that they can be proud of their employer. An achievement of a positive corporate culture, honoring the founder’s vision and values, which later became the official company values.
Skilled and motivated employees is the key factor for successful and sustainable business. On Wall Street the Ferrari share (with the fitting acronym RACE) presented from Q4 2015 to Q4 2016 a 111% increase. With this they outperformed most of the other car manufacturers. Acting on values is a form of respect, for internal and external stake holders. Respect does not avoid hard negotiations, but if both play by rules, it comes to a positive result and both parties not only keep the respect for each other, but if you are able to keep the self-respect inside the negotiations, your respect for other side will even raise.
Being respected means responsibility, as people put their trust in you. A positive reputation is a sales advantage. Acting based on values, and not only guidelines, supports this advantage. To achieve this position, rules must leave enough space for the heart. This is no contradiction, as guidelines could be designed to include this freedom. Furthermore clear rules can protect the employees, as they can act based on their values inside the defined space.