POC's VPD 2.0 Jacket: bike-specific armor that
 exceeds EU motorcycle standards
I'm a fan of protection; I've always worn a helmet when riding bikes or snowboards. On the latter I also wear back armor and wrist guards. I recently acquired a full-face biking helmet, always wear full-finger gloves, and will be purchasing pieces of bike-specific body armor for the coming season. All have saved me substantial injury on many occasions. And even with all of this I've still managed to get pretty banged up from time to time.

I used to think of body armor as a defensive thing; a manifestation of fear. Something to be donned against being afraid of getting hurt. However my approach to protection has shifted in the last couple years as my riding has progressed. I now find myself drawn to new realms of riding; progression always brings higher levels of risk.

What I've found though, is that the risk can be at least partially addressed with the right equipment; it is not that I fear injury as much as I desire to stay unhurt. And this is a subtle, though important distinction.

If I ride and operate out of fear, I hold myself back. To be clear I'm not suggesting ignoring my fear  in the moment, though I'm talking more generally as an approach to my riding as a whole.
Troy Lee's Carbon D3: a favorite lid among
the world's biggest hitting, fastest riding pros

Proactively seeking to protect my body on the other hand, is an opening, a way to evaluate risk and decide from a place of possibility rather than the limitations of fear.

How does this all apply to teams? To truly progress, teams need an analogue to body armor. They need structure to protect them when they go sideways and crash. Structures such as: working agreements, conflict protocols, and explicit shared vision and values.

And these structures are not static; crafting them and then never coming back to them is akin to buying armor and then never putting it on to ride. Kept alive these structures will serve the team as they strive to deliver the highest value to their organization, particularly when they are in conflict.

When a team armored by structures that they've created and committed to crashes, in effect that team is much more likely to be able to get up and ride away rather than be broken.

What kind of armor do the teams you work with   or on create? How has it affected their growth and process?


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