Jo Geraghty


Putting a knife between your teeth

Date added: 30th Jul 2013
Category: Employee Engagement

Working with organisations to help them achieve their company cultural and employee engagement goals we have come across a number of ways in which organisations try to boost productivity and performance.

Particularly within the high tec world, tales of pirate ships and saunas, chill out pods and play rooms abound.  Elsewhere company away days and events, employee recognition schemes and simple listening are all grist to the engagement mill.  Now the Ferrari F1 team has entered our list with a gift of a knife to every engineer.

In Italy, if you want to achieve something so badly that it makes you angry there is a saying that you put the knife between your teeth.  According to the Ferrari F1 website, Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo, is disappointed in the Ferrari team’s showing so far this season and has therefore gifted a knife to each one of the engineers along with “an invitation – metaphorical up to a point – to put it between their teeth when thinking how to tackle the second half of the season.”

At the same time according to the site Luca di Montezemolo has spoken to F1 driver Fernando Alonzo reminding him that “This is the moment to stay calm, avoid polemics and show humility and determination in making one’s own contribution, standing alongside the team and its people both at the track and outside it.”

“Gifting a knife” won’t appear as part of our standard engagement advice but it is a way of showing that engagement and determination need to be lead from the top and if the CEO and leadership team show that they are fully behind an initiative then it stands a better chance of success.

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