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400 CEOs Put to the Pit Stop Test

400 CEOs Put to the Pit Stop Test

How do you challenge the skills and creativity of 400 of the country's leading lights in management? With a pit stop competition of course...!

The UDC NZV8 Ute series was only too happy to get involved when the organisers of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE)’s Better by Design CEO Summit approached them to come up with the ultimate challenge.

Held every 18 months, the Better by Design CEO Summit is one of the most dynamic events on the New Zealand business calendar, showcasing some of the world’s top design thinkers and practitioners. This year close to 400 CEOs and senior managers from a wide range of New Zealand businesses attended the Summit and were immersed in both the theory and real world examples of design thinking, design integration and design disruption, gaining valuable insights from those that are reinventing success in their industries.

This year’s Summit theme was ‘Disrupt by Design’ and the Better by Design had just the interactive activity in mind to ‘disrupt’ the thinking of those in attendance. The 'Over the Wall' exercise, created and run by Hendrick Motorsport's Human Performance Director Andy Papathanassiou’s, recreates the high adrenalin, competitive environment of NASCAR pit stops. The activity can be is utilised from a business perspective to stimulate both competitive thinking and problem-solving in a limited period of time.

Having already taken groups of New Zealand CEO’s to experience the Over the Wall session as part of its annual Study Tour, the Better by Design team wanted to bring the activity to New Zealand as part of this year’s Summit.

Three Utes were on hand for the challenge - in fact the same three that had finished first, second and third for the last round at Hampton Downs. Chris Hanley's Holden, Peter Ward's Holden and Mike Lightfoot's Ford were all elevated on stands and NASCAR style air guns utilised for each team of 12 to get stuck in. Each had a five minute, four minute and three minute practice session before the competitive rounds.

"It was fascinating to see how the teams coped with the challenge, and remarkable to see that several were well into the low 20 second bracket before too long," said series CEO Paul Isaac.

"It was something the delegates obviously enjoyed and tested them in different ways from what they are used to, as well as making them think about approaching certain things in business in different ways. For the UDC Ute series it provided outstanding profile amongst the cream of New Zealand's management in the biggest and best event for CEOs in New Zealand."


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