Remember when you were a kid in school and went on field trips? Â Once in awhile I get to go on a field trip and learn how companies do what they do. Â Friday, I had the absolute pleasure of visiting Drive Team in Cuyahoga Falls. All I can say is, WOW. Ken Stout and his partners founded Drive Team after coming out of racing to teach commercial drivers how to drive safely. That branched out into Fire, EMS and Police driving skills and eventually to teen driving classes, senior driving assessments, skills courses, and bad-weather driving.
I remember my driver’s ed class – we would go to the place in the evening, watch a couple movies about how serious accidents are, go over to the Mr. Hero next door and have fries, and then come back and discuss the movies for 15 minutes. Then the instructor picked us up at our homes, took us driving in a variety of settings and wah-la. Two failed maneuverability tests later I had my license. At Drive Team, that doesn’t happen. At Drive Team, teens learn real, practical information about driving. They learn the limits of what a car can and can’t do. They practice difficult situations and Ken even has a skid car so he can take the control of the vehicle away and teach you what to do. The kids not only learn to be good, safe drivers, but how to judge others’ driving ability and to take responsibility for their driving.
One of the most important things Ken said is he looks at drivers as hardware with no software on how to drive. Â He programs them correctly to drive well. Â If a driver with several years experience comes in for his 2 hour skills course, he can reprogram them and fix the “bugs”. Â I think this metaphor is fantastic. Â Isn’t that exactly what learning to drive is like? Â After driving for 24 years, I sat in his facility and found out that due to the pressure and speed with which airbags deploy, it is now much safer to have your hands at 9 and 3 or even 8 and 4 than at 10 and 2. Â Until Friday, that was a question I was pretty confident I knew the answer!
So first, a big hand to Drive Team and their programs. Â Second, how are you writing the software to use your products and services on the hardware of your clients? Â Is the programming working? Â At Drive Team, when it works it is saving lives!