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Total Competition: Lessons in Strategy from Formula One Hardcover – 3 Nov 2016
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‘A fascinating insight’ (Giles Richards Observer)
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is billed as being a look at strategy useful to those with little or no knowledge of F1, but in reality, unless you have a good knowledge of F1 I suspect that at least half the book will make little or no sense.
If the book were judged as a wider work on strategy, applicable to a wider audience, it would fail.
The pieces on strategy itself, including digressions into the Sun Zu, were for me very weak, and detracted from the book. They seemed to not really fit with the narrative; an example of a book trying to do too much.
The parts with Ross Brawn discussing his working practices were truly excellent, and the parts where he discusses his working practices with Michael Schumacher were particularly strong. His focus on discipline, rhythms, routines, and processes, are particularly worthwhile.
I found the book overly long. A bolder editor could have taken between 50 and 100 pages out of this book without doing any significant damage. Certainly the portions on military strategy could be removed (an odd digression that is not effective, and quite boring), but also tidying up some repetition.
The book is written in a Q&A format, which I found to be a refreshing and interesting way to present a book, giving it almost the feel of a magazine article.
Parr has an ego and it is concealed in his 101 question for self satisfaction reasons.
And as for AP's ancient strategizing based around historic military scenarios, a BIG YAWN. However persevere and just read the responses and you great an insight into the life of F1 legend Mr Brawn. Forget the last Chapter - Observations as Parr gets into high strategy mode and paraphrases Ross's responses according to his strategy nonsense. I suggest you buy the books by Damon, Johnny Herbert or Mark Webber if you want a good read. Really the 6 hour Kindle read time is about half as you will soon avoid the Parr strategy. So I guess this is value for about £6.
Adam Parr on the other hand (who?) is just annoying. He's already published a comic book about F1 called The Art of War, and here he keeps going on about the same theme, comparing F1 to Sun Tzu's two-and-a-half-millenia-old book. If you skip everything he says and asks and stick to Ross Brawn, this is great book. I strongly recommend it.
There's the echo of Ross Brawn's story weaved throughout the book but it's framed in Adam Parr's 'Art of War' review of strategy.
I wish Adam had kept it simple and just interviewed Ross about his career and sent the transcript off to print without faffing around with his desire to fulfil his own academic cravings. It would have been a hell of a lot more interesting.
Shame would have been fun to read the Benetton story from the inside of this controversial time. Also the Jaguar XJR14
Firstly, how is it that a book purporting to be about strategy and all that entails about organisation and planning ends up being so badly structured itself? It seems lazy; what might have been done is to highlight, say, ten instances of Brawn's management and performance and analyse those, including how they could be improved, with reference to military strategy and tactics if you must. Secondly, if you're going to write a book about parallels between F1 and military strategy at least do your research. The references to the Art of War (and that's been analysed by far better historians and business thinkers than Parr), would be better replaced by references to Boyd. Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War John Boyd distilled all of military thinking in his work and added in some ideas of his own to come up with the (extended version) of the OODA loop which has a far deeper coupling with the way Brawn operated. One difference being the way Brawn actually had a plan for what he was going to do if for instance it rained at a particular point in the race or if a safety car came out; yes; literally for every single lap he had a strategy for what to do that was appropriate for that stage of the race. When employed in practice this looked like a shrewd tactical response, rather than advanced strategic planning it was. It wasn't really therefore as complex as reacting to uncontrolled changing circumstances in battle which Boyd attempted to address.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a biography of Ross Brawn. It is packed with facts about his life before and during his time in Formula 1. Read morePublished 2 hours ago by ANN A.
My husband found this book riveting and that it gave a fantastic insight into Formula OnePublished 1 day ago by Scarlett
can't really comment gave it as a present but went down well with the receiverPublished 12 days ago by Asadin
On the surface this is a book about motor sport. When considered in a context with more dimensions however it is a book about success. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Mr P S
Too many references to historical people; just wanted the inside gossip of Formula 1.Published 15 days ago by Sparky
confusing way of writing the book in all questions and answersPublished 19 days ago by David Nelson