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The Pecha Kucha Experiment

When I first heard about the modified Pecha Kucha exercise that I was invited to participated in (see Pecha Kucha on Summer Vacation) I wondered “what kind of nonsense is this?”. I first had to look on Wikipedia to figure out what it was. I’m not one for gimmicks, and this seemed like a gimmick. I was supposed to do a Pecha Kucha about a couple of things that inspire me and a pet peeve. I gave it some thought and started surfing the internet for images that spoke to me. This is what I came up with:

Inspiration: High Risks, High Rewards

Moto GP is the highest level of motorcycle racing in the world
Moto GP is the World Championship of Motorcycle Racing

These talented riders train to deliver consistent results at the highest level of performance.
Successful racers maintain lap time consistency within only a couple of one hundredths of a second per lap throughout a race

They push performance to the edges of possibility – High Risks, High Rewards
Moto GP Motorcycles are in excess of 220 brake horsepower and about 350 lbs
Moto GP speeds exceed 200 mph
Top Moto GP riders are some of the higher paid athletes in their respective countries (i.e. Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner)

Inspiration: personal excellence and team reliance

The U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, exemplify a combination of intense personal excellence and team reliance.

There have only been 231 pilots in the squadron since its inception in 1946

Each Naval Aviator that joins the Blue Angels has distinguished themselves as the best combat pilot and the Squadron must trust in the expertise of their teammates and learn from one another to improve. They fly at speeds over the speed of sound with only a few feet between the wing tips. Their lives are in one another’s hands.

While the Blue Angels are considered a demonstration team, members of the squadron are combat trained pilots that must go through a rigorous selection process focused on identifying representatives of the “excellence and professionalism” found throughout the fleet.

Pet Peeve: People with the wrong skill set for their job

Lucy and Ethel, from “I Love Lucy” in the famous “Chocolate Factory” episode were delightfully incompetent at this job. As the conveyor belt sped up, Lucy and Ethel were unable to keep up with the pace of packing chocolates in boxes and started to stuff them in their clothing and in their mouths.

They were the people with the wrong skill set for their job. We’ve all been on projects with people who don’t quite fit their roles. Goals are often misunderstood and results are lackluster at best. Many Silicon Valley companies believe that if they get smart people for a job then they will be successful. This is not true, they need the right smart people to succeed.

What I learned from this exercise is that people inspire me. I love to be around people who push themselves to achieve excellence, people who are creative and very motivated. My inspiration comes from being around this kind of person. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this activity. It made me think about the things that I really care about.

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