National Motorsport Academy

Change Management in Motorsport: Meet Tutor James Bailey

Change is inevitable, especially in a fast-paced and innovative industry such as motorsport. After a year of havoc that no one saw coming, all businesses have had to adapt to survive. Where some have thrived, others have fallen, and this is where the strength of a business’s change management processes can be measured.


Change management is one of those buzzwords which seems so vague and corporate that most of us have had no idea how to apply its principles to real life. 2020 taught us a few lessons in life and one of them is that you never know what’s around the corner. Being adaptable, agile and most of all, willing to embrace change can make the difference between success and failure.


Here, motorsport management expert James Bailey introduces one of the most important modules of the Master’s Business Motorsport and already one of our most popular masterclasses – Change Management.

Key Elements to Change Management

Change is a constant in the business world. Whether it is the need to adapt to legislative and environmental challenges, or the pressure to restructure and refocus in a post-pandemic world, there are very few companies that succeed by staying still.

Our Change Management one day masterclass won’t tell you how to solve all your business challenges, but it will give you a range of tools to make effective change happen in your company or team.

In business, many well-intended organisational change initiatives fail to deliver. In our masterclass we will explore the reasons why a vision doesn’t always translate into action. Whether you are a small team trying to get everyone to pull in the same direction, or a larger corporation with a transformational vision, we will provide a route map to guide you to success.

The measure of intelligence is the ability to change

The Change Management Masterclass

The masterclass will look at why some companies and teams succeed and why some falter.  We will look at the winners who went from being good to being great by driving large-scale transformations and change programmes. Our ten-step masterclass will take you from identifying the need to change through to tools to enrol and engage every employee.

Our day will start by asking why companies need to change. If they don’t know what their core issue is they won’t be able to fix it. We will then explore the megatrends facing the industry and make sure you are prepared for resistance from the sceptics on the team. Change rarely fails because of a poorly written vision, but it can fail if you haven’t analysed the obstacles and blockers and devised a plan to tackle them.

Great companies know where to focus and where to not waste energy and resources. We will explore examples and debate what makes a company successful. Change has to feel personal for employees. There has to be a clear connection between the corporate vision and the daily tasks. We will share tools and processes that can make this easier for you to drive engagement and buy-in in your organisation.

Learning from Experience

In motorsport, change moves quickly. We will look at reasons why companies, whether they are racing teams, component suppliers or car manufacturers, have to have an awareness of the need for change. Sometimes, it’s obvious. They may be the race team that languishes at the back of the grid. They may have mounting losses on the balance sheet or a loss of market share. The company may have quality and rectification issues. But often, the reluctance to change is because success breeds complacency. That’s often a more dangerous mindset than having the shock of a bad result.   

In Formula One, before the era of Mercedes domination, the multiple World Champions were Red Bull (2010-2013), Ferrari (2000-2004 and 2007-08) and Renault (2005-2006). Yet, in the period that immediately followed this domination they struggled to win races. It was easy to blame a driver, the budget or an engine but instead could the reality be down to culture and a lack of awareness of threats?

About James Bailey

James Bailey will bring these case studies to life in the full day Change Management in Motorsport Masterclass. His experience of change management spans his entire career, most of which has been within the motorsport industry. Starting out at Goodyear and progressing to Marketing & Communications Director of Dunlop Motorsport Europe, James managed the tyre giant’s involvement in the MotoGP, Le Mans 24h, BTCC and national racing.

James founded his consultancy business PitBox91 in 2018, continuing to support Goodyear, Dunlop and other big ticket clients in the sector. His main passion at the moment is as his position of Race Director for the Sports Prototype Cup which made its debut as a support race at the 2020 Portuguese Formula 1 Grand Prix.

James is a former amateur race driver too and won a Ginettta Cup race at Donington in 2005, beating a field of BTCC. British GT and Le Mans drivers. He still hasn’t recovered from the post-race party!  

You can find out more about James and PitBox91 over on their website

Motorsport Masterclasses

We've broken down our MA Business of Motorsport into individual CPD masterclasses. Covering motorsport governance, law, sponsorship, marketing and media, our masterclass seminars can help you get ahead in motorsport management.

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