In large organizations, it’s crucial to keep the workforce in good shape to have the best performance possible. Anese Cavanaugh, the creator of the IEP method, started doing work with business leaders and teams in 2003 when she created the Intentional Energetic Presence. The IEP is all about being intentional about the energetic presence you bring to everything you do. Anese dives deeper into IEP and its three components, and touches on her two books, Contagious Culture and Contagious You.
Things are changing and moving very quickly, especially in the motor racing sport. Electronic systems expert Dr. Peter van Manen talks about providing control and data systems for cars in the motor racing world. Peter is a Services Development Consultant for Frazer-Nash. He has become the official supplier of a lot of companies that are in the racing division like Formula One, NASCAR and IndyCar. Peter shows us what goes on behind the scenes in the motor racing world and how its technology has benefited other industries outside the racetrack. He also tackles the subject of data analytics, digital twins, and smart cities.
We have Anese Cavanaugh and Peter van Manen. Anese is the creator of the IEP method, which is Intentional Energetic Presence and she’s the author of Contagious Culture. Peter is a Services Development Consultant for Frazer-Nash and he’s got some interesting things that he’s done with cars and smart cities. We’re going to talk to both Anese and Peter.
Listen to the podcast here:
The Intentional Energetic Presence Method with Anese Cavanaugh
I’m with Anese Cavanaugh, who is the award-winning creator of the IEP method, which is Intentional Energetic Presence as well as an advisor and thinking partner to leaders and organizations committed to creating a significant positive impact, authentic leadership and healthy cultures. It’s so nice to have you, Anese.
Diane, thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to talk to you.
I am excited because you’ve got a good book, Contagious Culture: Show Up, Set the Tone and Intentionally Create an Organization That Thrives. It’s not that new but it’s been out for a few years and I think it’s really interesting because culture’s huge and everybody’s talking culture. We’re going to talk culture. We’re going to talk about a lot of stuff that you do. I’m interested in your IEP but I want to get a little background on you. Where are you at this point? I know you’ve spoken at Stanford and Emerging Women and all these different places. I’m looking at all this and you’re in every workplace. Tell me a little bit about how you got to that point.
I started actually in kinesiology. I started working with athletes many years ago and was intrigued by human performance and what happened when athletes went out. If they prepared themselves physically, mentally and all the good stuff that goes with that. What would happen in terms of their ability to be on a team, perform really well and also their resiliency when they would come back if they didn’t do as well. It’s a very long story, however, the cliff notes are I moved into corporate health and productivity working for a large organization, looking at their health, productivity issues and working with our leadership around injury prevention. I’m keeping the workforce in good shape so that we had the best performance possible.
I went and I worked in heart disease reversal with Dr. Dean Ornish for a while. I had my baby and I decided I was going to take forever off. That lasted for a year because I missed my work. Basically, I went back and looked at all the things that I’ve done with athletes, corporate, healthcare and looked at it and said, “If I were going to create my own thing that would feel amazing to me, if I were to be able to do the work that I absolutely loved and feel really good doing it, what would I actually be doing?” I pulled different components from all those different pieces together and I created my company. That’s where we started.
I worked in pharmaceutical sales and that led to my interest. I got a certified medical rep, which was a two-year Master of Physiology and Anatomy, which got me interested in a lot of those things as well. When I did my research on emotional intelligence, I was looking at sales performance. You were talking about human performance but I’m interested in performance in general as well. I signed up on your site because I wanted to see what stuff you created. You have Intentional Energetic Presence, which is a fascinating thing because when I created my Curiosity Code Index, it was a lot of work. It was a lot to go through to get the reports and the things and you’ve got nice looking stuff on your site. I was wondering how challenging it was for you to create that? The actual IEP, the measurement, turning it into a PDF and all that.
I’m sure you and I can have an entire day’s worth of conversations around the things that we didn’t know that we were going to get to adventure within creating our bodies of work. For me, the IEP method, how that unfolded was I started doing work with business leaders in 2003 and I was doing work with leaders and teams and all these different pieces. I kept getting the feedback from clients like, “Anese, what you’re doing is really special. There’s something extra that you’re doing in your work that is not just leadership development or cultural development. There’s a secret sauce and we don’t know it is but it feels important. We don’t think you can call it strict leadership development.” That got me intrigued and in 2009, I started to look at, “What was it that I was actually doing over and over again that created the results with clients?”
From 2009 until about 2013, I went through this deep dive, you asked about the work involved, a ton of work because I went through this deep dive of really looking at, “What is it that I do over and over again?” I hired people to follow me around in my client work, when I was leading retreats, when I was teaching, when I was speaking and to help model and pull out. These are the things that you’re doing over and over again that there’s probably a methodology on this. It was a very long arc of looking at these different pieces and seeing what feels most important to me and how do I want to distill that down. In 2013 was when I actually went, “Here’s the methodology, here’s what it’s named, here’s why this is important. Here are the primary components,” and it built from there. It’s been a process for sure.
It’s interesting to look at your model or method and everything that you have on your website because you break things down into culture, internal, external type of collaboration, communication. All the things that you look at or all the things that I’ve looked at as well, especially in my work with perception because there’s so much IQ, EQ, CQ and for me, CQ too would be curiosity and not just culture. There’s a couple of CQs out there but about the vibrational aspect, that’s what I was drawn to. Can we talk about the components and what they mean, especially vibrational, I want to know what you mean by that?
The three components of the IEP method and to do one step back. Intentional Energetic Presence is exactly what it sounds like. It’s intentional about the energetic presence you bring to everything you do. Whether that is having a one-on-one conversation, whether that is speaking to an audience of 10,000 people, whether that is talking to your five-year-old about something important, it’s anything. It could even be sitting down to prepare your taxes or to prepare busy work or whatever it might be. It’s being intentional about the energy you’re bringing to everything you do. What I have found is that when we’re conscious about how we show up, our energetic presence, we have a better opportunity to make ourselves feel better but also to have a better impact on the people around us. That’s the Intentional Energetic Presence. If you break that down into three different parts, there’s your intention, which is what you want to have happened. What I had found in my work over and over again is if I can help people get clear about their intention and what they want to create, all of a sudden, everything else gets a lot easier. If they’re clear and grounded in that it tends to go smoother, then your energy is the energy you actually bring to the table and also how you’re taking care of yourself.
A large part of my stake in the world is around self-care and leadership and how we take care of ourselves so that we can be the best, clearest instrument of change as we’re setting our intentions and as we’re leading people. The third component is your presence, which is how present are you to what’s happening? How present are you at this moment? What is your actual leadership presence and how you look and how people perceive you? That presence component, I look at it very holistically as the whole piece. Am I here and how am I showing up? If you take that, what I found was if I could get people to focus in three areas over and over again, it tended to help their IEP. The first component of the IEP method is your ability to reboot your presence at the moment. For example, literally right before I got on this call with you, I had a half an hour clear to chill and get my bearings and get ready. At 9:26, you and I started talking, 9:30 my doorbell rang, my daughter texted she couldn’t find her schoolbooks.
She panicked. It’s the last week of school and somebody is here for something. I take care of all of that and now my energy’s all frayed. I go, “I’m talking to Diane in two minutes.” It’s that reboot and better be prepared and also how can I bring myself back to being totally present with you versus being distracted by everything that happened. That’s the first component. It’s able to reboot your presence before you walk into your team meeting, before you walk in that conversation. I think one of the biggest things I see with people is we move so fast and we’re running into our next engagement not present. Therefore, there’s a lot of catch up that has to happen emotionally, energetically and physiologically even in order to catch up to whatever’s happening at that moment. That reboot to me, if people do nothing else, that’s the place where I tell them to start, keep being present of where you’re at and keep coming back for a reboot. There’s an actual reboot formula.Be the best and clearest instrument of change as you're setting your intentions and leading people. Click To Tweet
The second component is the ability to create intentional impact and there’s a five-step framework that goes with that. There’s a five-step framework that helps us get clear before we go into that conversation, that meeting about what are the outcomes I want to create? What’s the impact I want to have? How do I need to show up? What do I have to believe? What actions do I have to take? That intentional impact piece, people tend to think that that’s the hardest component. What I find is that if you’re good at rebooting your presence and you’re good at doing number three, which is where I’m going next, that creating intentional impact actually becomes simple. The third part is your ability to build a strong, energetic field, which brings us into vibrational presence. That strong, energetic field is everything from how am I taking care of myself? How am I eating, sleeping, movement, self-talk?
The way that I talk to myself impacts my vibrational energy. If I’m sitting here giving myself a really good self-feeding about something I didn’t do, something I messed up, something I’m afraid of or whatever might be happening, I’m not actually present to the person in front of me. My vibrational energy with that person is being impacted and they’re going to pick up on that. More likely than not, they’re usually going to take it personally. That third component where it’s all about building that strong energetic field is your self-care. It’s your physical, environmental energy and how you take care of that. It is your mental and emotional energy and how you take care of that. It’s your vibrational energy and being conscious of what you’re putting out there and then it’s your relational energy, which is being conscious of the dynamics in all of your relationships. If you take care of those things, then all of a sudden things start to clean up a little bit more.
We can almost call it HQ as to headquarters. I’m trying to figure some IQs. I like that thought of culture is contagious. I’m speaking at SHRM. I’m going to be talking about a lot of cultural things. It’s in terms of curiosity and developing it. Culture is so contagious. It’s a fact though. If the top is problematic, that filters down and I’m sure you probably deal a lot with people asking you, “Can you help a culture if the CEO doesn’t see a need for it? Do we assume that the people who hire people like you and me already know that they need help and they’re going to open their mind to it?”
I had a new client and he’s the CEO. We were talking about doing some of this work for his team and he stopped me halfway through the conversation. He said, “Anese, stop. I’m going to stop you because I actually need to do this work with you before my company gets it. I need to do this work with you because I realize I’m part of the problem.” I was like, “That’s the dream scenario.” That’s the far end of the dream. Back to the reality of it, the more normal of it. Here’s what I have found is that most times people think that culture is created by everybody around them.
They think it’s created by the CEO and the executives. It’s created by things that are outside of themselves, the company values. They think that’s what’s creating the culture. Those things have an absolute influence on the culture, but what I also find and I’m sure you’ve seen this is that every single one of us is responsible for creating the culture. We all create the culture by how we show up and what we emanate. For example, if I am walking into my organization and let’s say my CEO is tough and doesn’t care about culture. I walk in the door, every day I come in and I feel defeated, I also start to complain about it, I’m actually contributing to the energy of that culture.
I become contagious. If the executives of the organization or the CEO of the organization doesn’t care about culture, it’s definitely trickier. I’ve also seen it work where enough people start to care about it in different groups that it becomes contagious and then it starts to build its way up. Sometimes that CEO will leave or that CEO will come privately and go, “I might be a part of the problem.” That’s part of what I talk a lot about in the next book that’s coming out, which is Contagious You. I always call that CEO George or Georgette. The one who thinks it doesn’t relate to them, thinks that they’re fine, doesn’t think that they need to change anything. That next book after Contagious Culture will be really looking at, “George, you’re it. How do you want to shift it?”
It comes back to the perception of ourselves and the perception of others. How do we get that honest perception? How are we able to step outside of ourselves and see how others see us and how we see them? That’s very challenging. Do you deal with that a little bit?
I do. If you find the right answer to that question, I would love to know what the right answer is. My experience so far has shown me there are five questions that I can ask a group or a human being. There are five questions I can ask that I think help get at that. The first question is, “Am I having the impact I want to have?” It’s simple. It’s a gut check. I ask people to think about these quietly to internally get their first answer and to not dissect it but to notice it. The second question is, “Do I feel the way that I want to feel?” That’s a yes or no. The third question is, “Do people follow me because they want to or because they have to?”
I often add to that, “Do they follow me? Do they work with me? Are they friends with me? Are they still married to me because they want to or because they have to? They want to, it’s inspiring and I’m creating a great environment. It feels good to be around me or they have to because I’m giving them a paycheck and we have a legal piece of paper that says we’re supposed to be together.” That’s the third one followed because you want to or have to. The fourth one is, “What culture am I personally creating?” If we look at it as we’re all creating the culture at all times, I don’t have to tell anybody my answer here but if I’m willing to be quiet and look at what culture am I creating by the way I’m showing up, I might get some more insight there. It doesn’t mean it’s going to change the game yet but awareness, I find, is about 70% of the battles.
The last one, I will change it up depending on the organization that I’m going in to work with but often it boils down to, “Am I in alignment with my core values? Am I living in a way that is congruent with what I say is most important to me?” That’s a yes or no question. I’ll go back and I’ll say, “If you answered anything but yes, I have the impact I want to have. Yes, I feel the way I want to feel. Yes, people follow me because I’m a rock star and I feel so great to be around. Yes, I’m creating a culture that I absolutely adore and people feel nourished and so invigorated coming to work. Yes, I’m in alignment with my values.” If you’re not able to answer yes to all those, then there’s probably some goals in looking at what is truly happening with your leadership presence. How are you doing working your IEP? How are you taking care of yourself? What is the quality of your relationships? That always comes back to us if we’re willing to take on the responsibility to look at that.
It ties into a lot of emotional intelligence issues and emotional intelligence is developing empathy and being able to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. I’d almost want to ask those questions of them. Do others feel that way about me? Do you ever ask it that way? Do you think that other people are following me because they want to? People follow me but do they look at it from their perspective? That’s a challenge to answer that question because we put our own filter, don’t we?
We do. When I work with teams, I’ll often have them break into different groups and give each other feedback, if we’ve created the container where we can get honest feedback. It depends on the group and it depends on how much time I have with them and all that good stuff. On the other side of that, there are assessments that I’ve created. There’s one in the book, there are actually seven assessments come out in the next one to speak to what you’re talking about, which is I might think I’m rocking all those but my team is sitting there going, “What is she talking about? I am totally following her because I have to.” There’s a way that the leader can also get feedback.We all create the culture by how we show up and what we emanate. Click To Tweet
I hand out assessments and it can be done anonymously, etc. My preference is always to try and create the space where that honest conversation can actually happen. As you know, that doesn’t always work that way. I love having people get a reality check like, “I think I’m doing this but what do you guys think?” With my own team, we’ll go through those five. We have the IEP sheet, which got the entire method on it. It’s got the five steps and it has the magic questions. My team and I will go through on our meetings and we’ll check and we’ll do a quick energy check. We’ll make our intentional impact on the meeting and then we’ll go through those questions.
Every once in a while, especially when I’m feeling extra bold and I can feel that something’s off, I’ll say, “Let’s look at the five questions.” On that third question, “Are people following me because they want to?” I’ll say, “I have a feeling that you’ve been following me because you have to.” It can create interesting new kind of conversation that it might not happen all at once but even that little crack in the light where it’s like, “Here’s a little bit of open space where let’s look at are we really showing up in the way that we think we’re showing up?” That could lead to something beautiful.
I talked to Daniel Goleman about this on how to best get a valid measurement of your emotional intelligence. He said like what you said, you do need to have other people rate you sometimes because it’s hard to step outside yourself. Self-assessments are great for giving you a baseline for where to go from there but sometimes it’s also good to get an outside perspective. I actually left a job after talking to one of the leaders. I remember having to go to a dinner function and he was talking to me and he mentioned somebody in the company who I thought was a very ineffective leader. Everybody didn’t think too much of this person. He said, “This person is the future of leadership here.” I thought he knew nothing about this person, about what people thought and I think there are so many people who are out of touch. My face dropped, it shouldn’t have because I like the person, I didn’t think that he was what the company needed.
I was shocked and he could see the shock on my face and you could tell he never even considered anything and there was no depth to the research. I see a lot of that in leaders and we see a lot of low levels of emotional intelligence in CEOs because they’re not exposed sometimes to as many interpersonal relationships as maybe newer supervisory leaders are. That’s why I thought what you look at is a lot of more well-rounded ways of looking at things. I’m interested in your next book. What’s the biggest difference of what you’ve covered in that book versus Contagious Culture?
To me, the biggest difference is that Contagious Culture looks at you. If you read that book, the first three sections are really digging into you, the IEP method and how you use it. It’s in section four and five that I dig into the culture and integrating this in your culture. In Contagious You, it is more personal leadership. It is looking at you as an executive, you as a leader in your life and looking at going from your contagiousness and claiming that. The whole first section of the book is around claiming your contagiousness, doing assessments and getting feedback from people around you to figure out what’s up and figuring out, “Here’s what I need to work on.” The second section is your personal leadership presence. What that actually is and how do you nourish that. The third section is around your leadership style. The fourth section is around your relationships and the fifth, we go back then into the organizational culture.
The biggest difference I would say in one sentence is Contagious Culture is bigger, broader on culture and using the IEP method. Contagious You brings that home and says, “George, you really are it. Here are a couple of different ways to figure out if you’re it and Mary,” who’s the one that’s always dealing with George or Marvin, “here’s how you strengthen your IEP and more.” You figure out how to navigate the Georges in your life because they’re not going to go away. That’s the thing, we have no control. We have zero control over how anybody else shows up in our lives. The only one that we have control over is ourselves. It’s up to us as leaders to make sure we have the strongest energetic field possible to make sure we’re as clear as intentional as possible so that we can navigate those relationships as productively as possible or exit them if need be.
I liked having the filter of how we look at people sometimes. We all look at the same email and two people could look at one and say, “Did you see what she said?” The other person would say, “I don’t see anything.” All of this self-analysis and it’s important because there are so much communication issue and so many billions of dollars we’re losing because we have a problem with how we perceive ourselves and how we perceive others. I love all this because it ties into all that. I was excited to have you on the show and this was fun. A lot of people would probably want to know how they can get your books and find out more about what you’re doing.
You can find me at AneseCavanaugh.com. We’ve got a page for readers that is IEP.io, which if they go to that they can actually download the IEP sheet. They can download a virtual presence kit, which what you and I are talking about because so many teams are now virtual. It’s got a team guide. There are several different pieces they can get on that. I’m out there on Twitter and LinkedIn. I’m all over the place under my name.
You do have a lot of great freebie things that you can get right on the side. I like that. It’s nice to have you on the show, Anese.
Thank you for having me.
Winning The Race: Behind The Scenes Of The Motor Racing Industry with Dr. Peter van Manen
I am with Peter van Manen who is a Services Development Consultant for Frazer-Nash. He’s worked in engineering and business for decades. He was the Managing Director of McLaren Electronic Systems now McLaren Applied Technologies. He has become the official supplier of a lot of companies that are in the racing division, Formula One, NASCAR and IndyCar. It’s going to be very interesting to talk about some of the things that he deals within that industry. It’s so nice to have you here, Peter.
It’s nice to be with you, Diane.Create a space where honest conversations can actually happen. Click To Tweet
This is a different area to discuss and I find it interesting. For one thing, I wrote a book about curiosity and one of the stories in the book was about a hospital in London that went to a Formula One race car team to help them with efficiency. You probably know that story.
It was Great Ormond Street who went to Ferrari to try to learn something about pit stops to help them in moving patients from surgery into intensive care.
They had a great improvement in their ability to do their transfers. I thought that was interesting thinking outside, not only your company but your industry. I’m very interested in your work you’ve done with Formula One, IndyCar and NASCAR. What do you find so special about motor racing and how did you get into that?
What I find special about it is the extreme nature of the sport and the fact that the pace of change within the sport is very high. Things are changing and moving very quickly. The other side of it is the fact that motor racing is accessible to a lot of people. There are a lot of people who watch it on television who follow on the internet and the papers, etc. Within the engineering profession, it’s a little bit unusual that if you talk to anyone on the street about what you do in motor racing, they have some concept of what it is. There are a lot of other engineering, which is very interesting to the people doing it, perhaps less so to not involve directly. The fact that it happens at such a large scale. If you look at Formula One, NASCAR and IndyCar, these are all touching so many millions of people. It keeps you on your toes.
What do you do for them? When we talk about you being a Services Development Consultant for Frazer-Nash, what do you help them do?
What I used to help them do is I was working in motor racing for many years with McLaren and it was the electronics company. We were providing control and data systems to the cars. The control system is what controls the engines and gearboxes, etc. The data system is how you get information about the cars via telemetry to the garages so that the race engineers can optimize the performance of the cars. When it started, we were supplying systems to individual teams and about a decade ago, we won the contract to supply all the Formula One and a little bit later, all of NASCAR with electronics. Whether you are watching the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indy 500 or the NASCAR race at Charlotte, all of those cars have electronics that the company that I was leading at the time is producing the control systems for them.
I’m friends with Sean Eisemann who was on the M&M’s team and I don’t know much about the different car racing industries but when he moved to Arizona, I got to know his wife and him quite a bit. It’s quite an industry. They have their teams. It’s like any other sport where people are into it. A lot of people would like to know what is behind the popularity and what happens behind the scenes that we don’t know about?
The popularity comes from the fact that it’s big, noisy and fast. You can associate with drivers who are being able to drive cars that you and I would not be able to do so because they are so extreme. There is a lot of wheel to wheel action of cars overtaking others and occasional bump on the road, particularly if you’re watching a NASCAR race. There’s some excitement about that. What happens behind the scenes, there’s an awful lot of development that takes place to make the cars go fast and also to improve them over a season. There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to understand what the competition is doing so that you can develop the best type of strategy the best way that you can either win the race or get the best position.
I can say simple things like, “When do I change my tires in a pit stop?” There’s an awful lot of thinking that goes behind that which is being updated throughout a race, to work out how quick the tires are degrading. What will be the impact of coming in and changing them at a certain time? Is it worth waiting until the weather changes or there’s a caution? Behind the scenes, there’s an awful lot of data which is coming from the cars, which is being analyzed and processed in many different ways to be able to pick what is the best strategy to take.
I’ve had a few friends who are data analytics experts. We hear a lot about big data, artificial intelligence, digital twins but I don’t think I thought about it much for motor racing. Do you think that they were ahead of their time with some of the data analytics and what can we learn from that?
The short answer is yes. Digital twins have already been talked about in the last few years.
Can you explain what that is for people who don’t know it?What makes a city smart is when you can use information around you to make things run a little bit smoother and balance supply and demand. Click To Tweet
The digital twin is an approximation of something real. It’s a model of something real that you can use to either simulate the behavior or understand what’s under the hood if you like. It’s a digital representation of something. What happened in motor racing, particularly in Formula One many years ago, there was a realization that there was a lot of wasted time and effort in building stuff trying on the car, finding out that it didn’t work or it wasn’t quite what you expected. The teams began using simulations of the car that they could use to test out new components before they build them before they fit them on the car. To give you a little bit of context here, within Formula One, a racing car is made up about 25,000 different components and they will be manufacturing 2,000 to 3,000 new components every week for a year.
It’s a relentless push and that’s because throughout the year between races, every two weeks they’re changing the car. Probably 5% to 10% of the cars are changed to make it faster. The use of digital technology, so-called digital twin allows you to create virtual representations of new suspension elements, new aerodynamic elements and test them on a simulator. It is being driven by the driver and work out whether that is giving you a performance advantage in terms of lap time and in so doing, you can accelerate the development. You have a better chance if it’s working as you expect when it comes into play into the race car.
The reason that Formula One went down the approach of more and more digital technology was an economic reason. It was, “How do I prevent wasting time and materials to be able to be more competitive than the people I’m racing against?” These simulations or so-called digital twins have become very sophisticated over the years to the extent that racing drivers will spend the time testing new parts in the simulator and then go onto the car on the racetrack. Obviously, they are different but the sorts of cues that they relate to when they’re driving are similar. The behavior of cars is similar. In that respect, they can use the simulator to be able to develop new parts of the car safely.
Is that at all like what doctors are using as testing out surgery in different things? Is it similar to that technology or is it completely different?
There were similarities. With the doctors, this is outside my area of knowledge but they are certainly using robotic surgery and using ways of being able to look more deeply inside someone when they are either performing surgery or doing interventions. The similarity is that using virtual representations or digital twins allows you to see more than you can measure. Essentially, what you’re trying to do is based on what you can see in front of you to get a better insight in what’s happening under the covers, whether that be a race car or a patient on the operating table to be able to make the best choices in what interventions you make.
It’s a what-if scenario, too.
The what-if is an interesting one because another thing which happens at the racetrack is you’re continually assessing what your competitors are doing, which you can observe on the lap times and how they change from lap to lap. The teams are doing thousands of simulations every minute to be able to determine what are the best strategies to take based on the latest information they have in front of them. That is what-if strategies on steroids.
What are we learning from the motor racing industry that we can use? How’s that technology translating into other things that affect our lives? Do you see any other applications based on what you’ve learned there?
The short answer is plenty. There are lots of areas where it is moved across into everyday life where it’s somewhat obvious and that’s when it moves from motor racing into the mainstream automotive sector. Things like the anti-lock braking system, all the way through to how the software is arranged within the control units on the car. A lot of these things have been tested and proven in motor racing before they came into a road car. Elsewhere, I knew that in my own experience with the electronics company at McLaren, how we were translating approaches into the development of aerospace electronics, into Wi-Fi on trains.
We were looking at how you could exploit some of the real-time data handlings in so-called smart cities. This is where you are trying to use data that are all around us to be able to reduce the amount of disruption or congestion and make things flow better around the city, that’d be traffic, power or water. In all of these cases, it’s taking an approach that has been proven at the racetrack and applies into something which is often a little bit more complex. The real world is a little messier sometimes in the racetrack but perhaps not moving quite as quickly you lose out on complexity without the pressure of time.
You work in smart cities with energy, transportation, water sectors, all of those things. A lot of people would like to know what makes a city smart. What exactly is a smart city?
It’s a very good question and a difficult one to answer. What makes a city smart is when you can use information that’s around you to be able to make things run a little bit smoother and balance some supply and demand of stuff. We’ve all been driving on the road and there’s been a disruption, broken down car or something. If something changes within a few minutes, everything flows beautifully. If it doesn’t, then you can have a gridlock. One aspect of making a city smarter is able to try to manage that situation so you don’t get congestion. This is what the satnav systems in our car and our phones are doing. Will they help us to reroute when things change? That is an example of making a city smarter.You can't have so much inventiveness without people being curious about how things work. Click To Tweet
You can also look at this in terms of the use of electricity, for example. A lot of the power grids find that they are struggling when there’s peak demand and they have a lot of spare capacity when demand is not that great. If you are able to use that knowledge and somehow balance the use of the energy, then you can get more out of a power grid by managing the two cycles. That is being smart. Part of that understands what’s going on. This is where the measurement comes in and the second thing is what interventions or changes you can make to balance it. In the case of the electricity grid, it may be through the pricing structure that you offered to consumers. It may be by encouraging some of the large industrial users to change when they use power. There are many different ways of approaching it but depending on a lot of this is understanding what’s going on and having the belief and the courage to make changes to make it work a little bit better and smarter.
What comes to mind when we talk about manipulating power, I think of Enron and how they were able to control certain things. How are we being impacted by the changes in power? Is it going to affect supply, demand and pricing at all when they start doing that?
With energy you’re in an interesting place because there are more sources of energy than there were. There’s still oil and gas, nuclear, solar, there’s wind and all these different types of energy. They all behave quite differently. You require a more sophisticated transmission network to be able to deal with that. You also have the situation that some of these sources of power are quite local. You have some local generation of power and the networks were not originally designed to deal with that. Part of making a network smarter is being able to deal with the fact that the generation approach and also the consumption model has changed. You had other things like electric vehicles. They become more popular. How does the network cope with that and deal with that? It’s quite different from how it was conceived to when it was built.
What are the smartest cities you’ve witnessed?
There are a lot of cities who have a smart city sticker on them. I would suggest there are probably a lot fewer that are truly smart. Everyone would always point to Singapore because it has put a lot of effort into making it smart. A lot of that is for quite selfish reasons because they have very big population growth and limited resources. They make the best use of resources they have, which I would applaud. They also have within the government. They touch more on the property than in many governments. There’s a certain level of influence that they have, which helps. Other cities are very smart. There is a number in the US who are pushing quite hard at the moment. I live in London and I have to say there are many elements of London which have become very smart over the last years, particularly around the transport management sector, etc.
What are you working on at the moment that’s above and beyond what you’ve done? How do you go to the next level after you’ve done so many interesting things?
I’m mainly involved with some of the critical infrastructures because I find that quite interesting. We touched on power and there is no doubt that how the power networks energy is managed is one of the big issues which is affecting many countries. Other areas that I’m very interested in is the water infrastructure and providing clean and safe water to people, which is a big issue, a big problem that is looming. It touches many of us from time to time but more so than it did. There are examples in the US of where water quality has deteriorated and caused problems, in Michigan for example. There are also examples where water shortages have suddenly become quite apparent, for example in California. It’s managing the drinkable, potable water around the world is one of the big issues of our age. I’m happy to be involved in that as well.
You do a lot of interesting and unusual things. I knew this was going to be fun to chat with you and a lot of people are probably interested in learning more about your work. Is there some way they can follow or reach you that you have a link or anything you want to share?
I’m not a great believer in social media personally. I’m not involved in Twitter, Facebook or others. I am on LinkedIn. I’m contactable by that way.
What you do is very interesting and a lot of people will find this fascinating because this is a little different for our show. I was really interested in that Ormond Hospital situation when I was researching curiosity. It’s cool to look outside of your industry. Sometimes it’s to see what other people do because we get very status quo thinking. I know when we were conversing back and forth, you said you were interested in curiosity and some of the stuff I study and learning from different industries can be so useful. I appreciated having your insight on the show. Thank you so much, Peter.
Curiosity is at the heart of motor racing because you can’t have so much inventiveness without people being curious about how things work. You have to have curiosity and then you’ve got to have the courage to put it into action.
The four things I found that hold people back from curiosity are fear, assumptions, technology and the environment. I agree that fear definitely is one of those things that hold people back. We need to work on that if we want people to be truly innovative. Thank you for your insights and this was fun. Thank you for being on the show.
Thank you for having me, Diane.
I’d like to thank Anese and Peter for being my guests. We get so many great guests. If you’ve missed any past episodes, you can find them at DrDianeHamiltonRadio.com. If you’re looking for more information about Cracking the Curiosity Code or the Curiosity Code Index, you can get certified if you’re an HR professional or consultant. We do certification training at CuriosityCode.com. You can also get the book and all the information there. Any information you want to know about my speaking or consulting and all that, that’s all at DrDianeHamilton.com. I hope you enjoyed this episode. I hope you join us for the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.
- Anese Cavanaugh
- Contagious Culture: Show Up, Set the Tone and Intentionally Create an Organization That Thrives
- Contagious You
- Daniel Goleman – Past episode
- Twitter – Anese Cavanaugh
- LinkedIn – Anese Cavanaugh
- McLaren Applied Technologies
- LinkedIn – Peter van Manen
About Anese Cavanaugh
Anese Cavanaugh is devoted to helping people show up and bring their best selves to the table in order to create a significant positive impact in their lives. She is the creator of the IEP Method® (Intentional Energetic Presence®), an advisor and thinking partner to leaders and organizations around the world, and author of CONTAGIOUS CULTURE: Show Up, Set the Tone, and Intentionally Create an Organization That Thrives.
About Peter van Manen
Peter Van Manen is a Services Development Consultant for Frazer Nash. has worked in engineering and business for 40 years, including 23 years in professional motorsport. Until 2015 he was Managing Director of McLaren Electronic Systems (now McLaren Applied Technologies) and, under his stewardship, the company became the official supplier of engine control units to all competitors in Formula One, NASCAR and IndyCar, contracts that remain in force today after a decade. He now works in the smart city, energy, transportation, and water sectors.