Horse races are a great way to choose the most qualified leader for your organization. Not only do they establish a culture of leadership development, but they also set a timeframe and a level of accountability for company performance.
While many directors are uncomfortable with the notion of horse racing as a method to select the next chief executive officer, they should be aware of its potential impact on their organization. It is a powerful motivator for employees and can provide a window into the competitive nature of the workplace.
The simplest horse race involves two or more horses competing in a sprint, hurdle or steeplechase. There are several varieties of this type of race, but the one most people think of is the Kentucky Derby. This iconic American race is broadcast live all over the country. A large crowd of working class men gathers to watch the races and stare at banks of TVs at the bottom of the grandstand.
The first of the modern age of horse racing was a bareback mount race, which required the rider to mount a horse without touching it with his or her hands. As the centuries went on, horse racing grew into a spectacle with a wide field of runners. Those who entered the races had to be bona fide property of the owner.
Another example of the modern day is the use of 3D printing to produce casts of horses for racing. It has also helped to improve safety in horse racing by providing splints and prosthetics for injured horses.
The horse race of today includes a number of technological advances, such as thermal imaging cameras that detect overheating post-race. One of the most impressive innovations is the use of an MRI scanner to diagnose minor health problems.
In addition to introducing new technology, the horse race has retained many of its ancient traditions. For instance, the first known recorded horse race took place in Greece, during the Olympic Games in 700 to 40 B.C. Today, a number of countries have instituted the Triple Crown, a series of three prestigious races in which the best horse wins.
Other innovations include X-rays that are used to diagnose major health issues. Also, some racing venues are now using thermal imaging to detect injuries and other minor conditions before they become life-threatening.
Handicaps help to ensure that all horses have a fair shot at winning. They are determined by weight and the horse’s previous performances. These handicaps may be set by individual tracks or at a central location.
Although there are a number of advantages to a horse race, there are also drawbacks. Some directors are uncomfortable with the horse race approach, fearing the loss of business momentum in the event that a successful candidate is selected. On the other hand, many directors are sensitive to the increased scrutiny on their company’s performance. To avoid disruptions, boards considering a horse race should consider their organizational structure, resources, and culture to determine whether the winning horse is the right fit for their organization.