The 5 Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Purchasing Formula 1 Tickets

‘ANGRY F1 FANS LEFT HIGH AND DRY AS TICKET COMPANY FAILS’, ‘SPA TICKET CONFUSION FOR THOUSANDS OF F1 FANS’. This is what can happen when innocent Formula 1 fans fall victim to fake ticket selling shops offering Formula 1 tickets that never arrive.

During the Formula 1 race year, a number of ticket selling scams typically pop up as online ticket selling shops. The most common ways F1 fans are scammed through these ticket shops is by paying in advance for tickets that never arrive. This is after paying a hefty amount for the ticket which includes paying for service charges and additional shipping fees.

Fake Formula 1 ticket selling scams can take many forms. Many of these scams look like legitimate companies that offer Formula 1 tickets but after the fans make the purchase, they never receive their tickets and later learn that the company was a scam. This is exactly what happened in June of 2012, when many F1 fans found themselves without tickets after they purchased tickets from a ticket shop known as ‘Simply The Ticket’ for the British GP at Silverstone. Many F1 fans that had intended to travel to Valencia for the European GP were scammed as tickets did not arrive despite paying for them. For example, Hayley Pearson who lives in Great Moulton, South Norfolk, had a few days off and had planned to go to the European Grand Prix. She decided to purchase her tickets from ‘Simply the Ticket’. She booked tickets on the site and then never received them. Another example was Ben Miller, who was set to take his girlfriend to Valencia for the F1 race but did not receive his tickets from the company either. Ben tried contacting ‘Simply The Ticket’ but was not able to be reached and there was news that the website had been taken down and the company had gone bust. What happened to Mrs. Pearson and Mr. Miller can also happen to you.

In another similar incident in August of 2012, the Dutch media reported that around 6,000 F1 fans who bought tickets for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps were not able to attend the event because their tickets did not arrive despite paying for them. If this was not enough, at the Indian GP event several F1 fans were duped by online ticketing vendors. The modus operandi of these fake F1 ticket vendors was simple. They claimed themselves as authorized ticketing partners, sending SMS messages saying “You have won a free Forumla-1 ticket in the India Grand Prix mobile draw promo”. This even led the organizers of the Indian GP to issue a warning to F1 fans to be aware of the scamsters selling F1 tickets at a lower price. These scams could have been easily avoided if the fans were aware of all the official ticketing partners or could have checked the details behind the ticket sellers carefully. Unfortunately, not many F1 enthusiasts have the ability to perform background checks on ticket selling shops and thus could possibly be left outside the gates on race day either without tickets or with fake tickets. Not a good situation.

If this can happen to over 6,000 people, it can happen to you. No matter the stories, the fake F1 ticket selling shops seem to involve websites that ask you to pay money and then don’t get back to you with your tickets. The sad truth is there is often little or no recourse to get your money back if the tickets don’t arrive or are not legitimate. To get the full report which details the most common F1 ticket buying mistakes and how to avoid them, go here:

Afro-Peruvian Jazz, a Child in the Family of Latin Jazz

Afro-Peruvian jazz is part and parcel of Latin jazz, a mixture of traditional Afro-Peruvian rhythms and inclination to improvise, with the New York jazz scene of the 1980s and beyond.

Guitarist Richard Zellon is generally credited with introducing this particular form of jazz to the United States. Another important figure is trumpet player Gabriel Alegria. Both of these, as well as most other musicians playing this music are Peruvian but are not of African descent.

For Peruvians of African descent involved in jazz, you would want to look at the singers Susana Baca and Eva Ayllon.

But maybe we should start at the beginning.

Most people agree that jazz is a musical form that grew out of the experience of Africans in America, an experience that included slavery, discrimination and other hardships; but in contrast to the blues, jazz has a generally optimistic outlook on life. It is vibrant. It is often joyful. It is fun.

In addition, rhythm and improvisation are key elements in jazz. And if you accept that jazz grew in large part out of the black experience, then it is clear a lot of those rhythms came from Africa.

Originally, jazz was considered something that “belonged” to the United States. It was thought of as being an “American” form of music, where “American” referred to the United States of America.

But since the late 1940s, when Dizzie Gillespie, working with Chano Pozo and Mario Bauza, introduced the world to Afro-Cuban jazz, jazz became more international. More and more musicians began combining the sound and rhythms of traditional Latin American beats with (north) American jazz. Afro-Cuban jazz was soon joined by Cuban jazz, Puerto Rican jazz, Afro-Brazilian jazz, and then Afro-Peruvian jazz. All of these taken together are what is now known as Latin jazz.

Again, each one of these forms of Latin jazz seem to have started when musicians from Latin American countries came to New York and started making music with New York musicians, transforming their traditional music into a new form of jazz.

Thus it was that in the 1980s and especially after the year 2000, Peruvian musicians in New York began developing Afro-Peruvian jazz out of the traditional music of Peruvians of African descent. This traditional music is lively, has complex rhythms, allows for improvisational riffs, and has contributed several important percussion instruments to the world, including the quijada de burro (the jawbone of a donkey) and the Peruvian cajon (as distinguished from the Cuban cajon).

I find it fascinating that the musicians who are the major proponents of Afro-Peruvian jazz are not themselves black–in other words, are not people of African descent.

This is not true of singers, however. Several well-known singers from the Afro-Peruvian community who were brought up with their traditional songs have now begun to include jazz in their repertoire. These include most importantly the women we mentioned above, Susana Baca (who is not only a fine and well-known singer, but for a few months in mid-2011, was the Minister of Culture of Peru) and Eva Ayllon (lead singer of Peru Negro, one of the oldest and most prestigious Afro-Peruvian performing groups).

The connection between Afro-Peruvian jazz and Afro-Peruvian traditional music is important, and that traditional music deserves to be more widely known in the United States. In addition to groups such as Peru Negro, several individuals stand out for their work in preserving the tradition and making it better known.

In Peru itself, Amador Ballumbrosio and Caitro Soto are among the best known, although they approached it from very different perspectives. Amador Ballumbrosio, a dancer and violinist from the town of El Carmen, was primarily concerned with maintaining the zapateo (footwork used as percussion) and the dance and music involved in something called the hatajo de negritos, traditionally performed on December 24 in honor of baby Jesus. Caitro Soto, a fantastic drummer from Lima (Peru’s capitol), was more concerned with Afro-Peruvian music in general.

In terms of making the tradition known internationally, in the current period, Lalo Izquierdo is especially important. He is an exceptionally fine percussionist and dancer who has given master classes and performed throughout North and South America, as well as Europe, to bring this tradition to the attention of the world. In recognition of his talents and contribution, he has recently been appointed to be the Director of the Institute of Cultural Expression of the Afro-Peruvian Studies Division in the National Afro-Peruvian Museum.

It is our belief that it is vitally important to maintain this traditional music and the dances that accompany it. That is both because of their intrinsic value, and also because they are a source of inspiration and an essential element in the richness of Afro-Peruvian jazz. And that form of jazz, the offspring of traditional Afro-Peruvian music and the New York jazz scene, is a worthy addition to the family of Latin jazz!

Organizational Culture Change – 6 Advantages to Enhance Performance

If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there! What the rabbit said to Alice is also true when reversed. If you don’t know where you are now, you’ll never get where you want to be.

This is what happens to some managers and organizations. They’re working to achieve goals and enhance performance. But 80% of their endeavors generate 20% results or even less. That’s not because their goals aren’t properly set. They are. The only thing lacking is a precise bearing. Standing precisely here, what would be the most effective way to reach that future?

So, having your goals set and preparing to change, spend 15 minutes to assess your organizational culture. Why? Because culture is found to make the difference. It is why up to 70% of organizational culture change programs fail. Wouldn’t it be great to avoid just that? Make your change endeavors more effective, aiming for 20% endeavors generating 80% results, and take your current organizational culture into account. Learn the current potential and possible resistance right here, right now, before your feet. Knowing it is dealing with it. Overcome resistance and mobilize your organization’s potential. It is a powerful starting point for successful change. Leave no sooner than after you’ve done this!

Are you ready? Just follow me!

Fifteen minutes will do for managers and staff to assess their organizational culture quickly, easily and reliably. The Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI) is developed by professors Kim Cameron and Robert Quinn and is a validated research method. No wonder that the OCAI is currently used by over 10,000 companies worldwide. How come that this instrument takes only so little time and is still valid?

The Competing Values Framework

Cameron & Quinn learned from statistical analysis that out of a list of thirty-nine indicators of effectiveness for organizations, only two dimensions made the difference. So four quadrants were constructed, corresponding with four organizational culture types that differ strongly on these two dimensions:

  • Internal focus and integration VS External focus and differentiation
  • Stability and control VS Flexibility and discretion

Organizations in the two left quadrants are internally focused, like: What is important for us and how do we want to work? The two quadrants on the right consist of organizations that are externally focused on: What is important for the market, competitors and customers? The upper quadrants desire flexibility, while at the bottom organizations value stability and control.

In short, the four archetypes of culture are:

1. Clan Culture: A friendly, people-oriented working environment where colleagues have a lot in common, similar to a family. They value teamwork and consensus. Executives are seen as mentors or father figures. There is great involvement. Success is defined as addressing the needs of clients and caring for people.

2. Adhocracy Culture: A dynamic and creative working environment. Employees take initiatives and risks. Leaders are seen as innovators. Experiments, innovation and prominence are emphasized. Success is growth and creating new products or services.

3. Market Culture: A results-based organization that emphasizes finishing work and getting things done. People are competitive and focused on goals. Leaders are hard drivers, producers, and rivals at the same time. Market penetration and stock are the definitions of success.

4. Hierarchy Culture: A formalized and structured work environment. Procedures are leading. Leaders are efficiency-based coordinators. Keeping the organization functioning smoothly is most crucial. Reliable delivery, smooth planning and low costs define success.

Of course these descriptions are a bit short and therefore monochrome. They’re just meant to give you a quick glimpse of the four types. You can check a more extensive and nuanced explanation about the OCAI.

Six key features

To find your organization’s core values and thus the dominant culture type, you need to complete a short survey. Just assess the following six features of organizational culture:

  • dominant characteristics
  • organizational leadership
  • management of employees
  • organization glue
  • strategic emphases
  • criteria of success

The organizational culture assessment shows four statements for each of the above key features of culture. By dividing 100 points over these four descriptions, you’ll get a weighed assessment of the current culture mix.

Just like in reality you don’t need to choose just one culture type. Reality is ambivalent and so is organizational culture. The Competing Values Framework states that the values and the corresponding organizational cultures compete with each other. Organizations can spend their money, attention and time only once, so they tend to emphasize certain values. Quinn and Cameron found that flexible organizations are the most effective, which sometimes leads to contradictory behavior. Research shows that there is no single “best” culture type. The best mix of culture types depends on the situation. In a saturated market for instance, you could flourish with a competitive market culture, while this culture would produce opposite effects in a start up company that thrives on innovation, creativity and serving new developing markets.

You can find your unique culture mix of for instance, people-oriented clan culture and results-oriented market culture. Knowing your specific mix of internal focus and flexibility (clan culture) versus external focus and stability (market culture), you can prepare a successful pathway to the preferred situation.

In the assessment you also define the preferred situation. Just rate the six key aspects of organizational culture again, but this time you keep the preferred future in mind. You divide 100 points while you imagine it’s five years from now and the desired situation has come true.

The outcome!

Now you know where you stand and where you want to go! In just 15 minutes an entire team or organization can assess their starting point and their goal.

Before there was an automated version of the OCAI, it was a lot of work to calculate the profiles by hand. Nowadays, there’s an online automated OCAI tool available that is free for individual participants and at a very reasonable price for teams and organizations.

Using this online tool, every participant receives their personal profiles of current and preferred culture by email. A team of participants can discuss their personal profiles and create a joint profile as a basis for their change program.

In case of large corporations with a great number of participants, you can work with the collective profile, constructed by averaging all the individual results. This provides a clear, quantified starting point for change.

A culture profile gives a lot of quantified information:

  1. The dominant culture and its strength
  2. The difference between present and preferred culture
  3. The congruency of the six features
  4. Comparison with the average for the sector or industry group
  5. The developmental phase of the organization

ad 1: Imagine that you have a very dominant market culture (48 out of 100 points): this indicates that people experience a culture of competition and getting things done.

ad 2: For instance, you see that employees would prefer 10 points more of a people oriented clan culture. The difference between current and preferred profiles indicates your organization’s readiness to change (or their current discontent) and gives an impression what kind of change or approach would be motivating.

ad 3: Congruence means that the 6 key features of culture align, so that they all emphasize, for instance, market culture. Mostly this works smoothly, while incongruence means that there are inconsistencies that can take a lot of time, energy and so on.

ad 4 and 5: It’s interesting to compare your culture profile with your economic sector and see how mature your organization is. Cultures evolve over time from extreme flexibility to more stability and an external orientation.

Qualitative fine tuning

Once you have this quantified picture, you might color and detail it with some qualitative information. Instead of doing interviews through the organization, as some consultants tend to do, you could simply settle for an OCAI workshop. Interviews are not only a lot of work but also produce loads of information that is difficult to standardize or combine to a meaningful whole. Working with your results in an OCAI workshop is adding qualitative information, fine-tuning your profile, understanding it better and working on consensus about the current and preferred situation. When this is accomplished, you mobilize people’s readiness to change. That’s a lot of potential to work with. It’s great energy to start a change, I can tell from experience.

In my next article I will tell you how you can work with your results and start your change program effectively with the OCAI workshops.

6 Advantages to Performance

Conclusively, diagnosing and changing organizational culture can actually pay off if it’s done correctly. Don’t neglect culture since it’s such an important factor. Let culture work for you and enhance performance.

As a consultant guiding organizational change I got enthusiastic about using the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument. A discriminate factor for success that beforehand was considered “vague” and impossible to manage, was made easy to grasp and even utilize, mobilizing employees beyond their “normal” resistance to change.

The OCAI has 6 advantages that help organizations enhance performance:

  1. It’s focused: it measures the six key dimensions that were found to make a difference in organizational success.
  2. It’s timely: both assessing and developing a change strategy can be accomplished in a reasonable period.
  3. It’s involving: either by including all personnel or those who give direction and guide change.
  4. It’s quantitative: based on figures, completed by qualitative information when working with the results to establish the desired changes.
  5. It’s manageable: it can be implemented by a (management) team; outside consultants aren’t necessarily needed.
  6. It’s valid: the OCAI is validated and people recognize their outcomes.

So if you’re planning a roadmap to change, spend 15 minutes on your current position. Any traveler can tell what a big advantage you gain to take the best possible road, avoid roadblocks and actually reach your preferred future.Use these 6 advantages of the OCAI and enhance organizational performance.