Good Goes Bad In A Hurry
When change hits, a common response is caution. Faced with the unfamiliar, surrounded by uncertainty, the organization gears down.
On the surface it makes sense. You really can’t do much to reduce the speed of change. But if you slow down, you somehow feel a little safer. So people put on the brakes, hoping to buy some time.
But change won’t wait on you. You simply don’t have time to take your time.
“Carefulness” actually gets dangerous when it creates a culture of caution—paralysis sets in, the organization loses momentum, and problems start to multiply. Under today’s conditions, slowing down is the most hazardous move you could make.
Hurry needs to become the normal style, and merely picking up the pace a little won’t work. Competition moves so fast. Markets change so quickly. Technology advances at a dead run. The world wants instant everything. The result? Good goes bad in a hurry. And the level of performance that qualifies you as a winner today can make you a has-been tomorrow.
Do everything possible to accelerate, to create a culture with quicker reflexes. Hustle. Put speed and responsiveness into every aspect of the business. Help get rid of bureaucratic practices and “busy work” that bog down productivity. Break down the boundaries between work groups, so communication flows fast and freely. Understand that the organization can’t afford to carry any extra weight, and that downsizing and de-layering may be needed to create a leaner, fleeter, more agile outfit. Don’t resist change, because that’s a drag on the organization. The culture counts on you to give it a sense of urgency.
Slowing down gives you the feeling that you’re safer, more in control. But the feeling is false. Picking up speed protects you better in today’s world of highvelocity change.
“Time used to be a tyrant. Today it’s an assassin.” —From an R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company advertisement