Weekly Thought Vol. 41 - Speed Up!

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If you examine the Corporate body count over the last couple of years, you’ll find that “slow” kills companies. 

And THAT, of course, means the death of many a career.

To survive today – certainly to gain any type of competitive advantage – your organization must travel light and cover a lot of ground quickly.  That drives the decision to decentralize, to delegate decision-making power.  That’s why it’s more and more important to erase some of the boundaries between different parts of the organization, so work can flow seamlessly and quicker.  Frankly, we don’t have much choice.  Organizations are all working hard right now to eliminate excess baggage….abandon lethargic bureaucratic practices….and shrink, dramatically, the time it takes to get things done!

So many of the changes you’re seeing today are designed to help organizations pick up needed speed. They’re not casual or random moves made up by a bored heartless top exec.  What you’re seeing is raw survival instincts at work.  Today, organizations either accelerate, or die.

Let’s face it, we live in a very impatient world with fierce competition and limited fleeting opportunities. The Organization that’s lean, agile, and quick to respond clearly has the edge.   But an organization can only go as fast as their slowest employee.

So, you need to operate with a strong sense of urgency today. Acceleration in all aspects of your work, even if it means a few more ragged edges.  Emphasize ACTION.  Today’s market demands that you don’t bog down in endless prep work trying to make things perfect before you move.

Sure, high quality is important, but it has to come quickly.   You cannot sacrifice speed.  Learn to fail fast, fix it and move on. 

Take no part in resistance to change.  If your organization decides to turn on a dime, follow it like a trailer.  Corner quickly. Turn for turn.  The organization can’t wait for employees to go through some slow adjustment process.  It can’t afford to gear down and wait while people decide whether or not they’re going to get on board.

Consider this:  New hires join up ready and willing to help drive the organization in new directions and push.  They’re eager to prove themselves and make their mark in the organization. You’d be exactly the same way if you left your job today and hired on somewhere else.  So, why not take that approach right where you are?  

Instead of giving reasons why something won’t work and being a drag on change initiatives – one of the resistors who causes delay – develop a reputation as one who pushes the change process along.  Make yourself MORE valuable…and help create a high-velocity operation.

What we must decide is perhaps how we are valuable, rather than how valuable we are.
F. Scott Fitgerald (1896-1940)