Written by Brian Tocci

Editor’s note: Brian Tocci is Director of Operations for Larsen Motorsports and a student in Florida Tech’s MBA program. As part of Florida Tech’s affiliation with Larsen Motorsports, Tocci has been awarded a scholarship to pursue his graduate degree online. Read his first blog post here.

I am at about the halfway point in my MBA, and I have learned so much that I’ve already started utilizing at Larsen Motorsports. The most interesting class so far is the one I’m currently in: BUS 5450 Organizational Behavior. I didn't think I would like this class because I’m more of a numbers guy, hence my undergrad in engineering, but I was completely wrong. The professor, Dr. Glassman, pushes you to learn the topics and think about how you can use them in your organization.

As Director of Operations for Larsen Motorsports, I have been able to take topics I learn about in Organizational Behavior and apply them to better the organization. Here are some of the concepts I’ve applied so far.

Rewards

One big takeaway I have from this class is how important rewarding people is. At Larsen Motorsports, we took this concept and implemented our own reward system called “Nitro Bucks,” a company currency with the Nitro the Pug’s face on it.

Team members earn this currency when they do something where a reward is deserved. When they earn enough, they can purchase different prizes, such as merchandise, a flight to lunch, starting up a jet car and racing the shop. Not only are they receiving a reward they want (who wouldn’t want a chance to start up a jet car!), they are also getting recognized for doing a good job when they receive the money.

We also are starting a peer-to-peer recognition program using Fanatic Cards, so team members can recognize other team members when they do something well.

Motivation

Since about the fourth week of the class, motivation has been a huge topic, and I wanted to bring that into Larsen Motorsports. If your team members aren’t motivated and involved with the organization, then the quality of work and the work environment will suffer. We are really starting to focus on what motivates each one of our team members and trying to make an environment where everyone motivates each other to have fun and do the best they can.

Leadership

Finally, one of the topics that was the most important to me was leadership, and what it is. Since learning about it and discussing it in class, I have really tried to change the way I look at my position at Larsen Motorsports. Now I try to be more of a leader than a manager, although that is much easier said than done. This is the biggest takeaway from the class for me because a great leader can be the difference between an organization skating by and greatly succeeding.

Many of the concepts in class have been helpful, and I just have to start changing my methods and see what works best for myself and the organization. So far, everything I have learned in class has been a huge help at Larsen Motorsports. Hopefully we can keep using these concepts to make it a better organization and continue being a place where people love to work.

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