Fast cars, teamwork, and agility
Despite this changing world, I do believe that the World Bank will continue to be the premier transformational partner to countries because of our advocacy, our convening power, our analytics, and our resources. As I have said before, development requires change, which is not easy.. Only then can we deliver the transformation that is needed to confront climate change, economic stagnation, food insecurity, and the other big challenges of our time.
Anyone who has worked with me knows that I have been a huge fan of Formula 1 since elementary school. Not just because of the excitement surrounding the sport, but also because there are some valuable lessons to be learned in agility and speed.
For those unfamiliar with Formula 1, in this circuit-based motorsport, the race car drivers must make one or two strategic pit stops for a mere 2-3 seconds to rapidly change tires and sometimes fix damaged parts, during a high-intensity race towards a win. That’s many people coming together within less than 2 seconds to take ownership of what they know so that the driver can win. Our work in the South Asia region to get a COVID Response Project going within four weeks exemplifies the speed and agility of a Formula 1 pit stop. Team members each knew what to do, and clearance and approval was turned around in not days, but hours, with every team member coming in right when their expertise was needed to help countries mitigate the crisis swiftly.
This kind of agility should be the norm at the Bank and for everyone working in development. To make this happen consistently requires a bold leap toward empowering people and trusting them to do the right thing.