Help Create a High-Velocity Operation
Examine the corporate body count over the last dozen years or so. What you’ll find is that “slow” kills companies. And that, of course, means the death of many careers.
To survive—certainly to gain any competitive advantage—your organization must travel light and cover ground quicker. That drives the decision to decentralize, to delegate decision-making power. That’s why it’s important to erase boundaries between different parts of the organization, so work flows seamlessly and swiftly. Organizations really don’t have much choice. They must eliminate excess baggage . . . abandon bureaucratic practices . . . shrink, dramatically, the time it takes to get things done.
So many of the changes you see going on these days are designed to help organizations pick up speed. These are not casual moves or random acts dreamed up by bored and heartless top executives. What you’re witnessing are raw survival instincts at work. Organizations must accelerate, or they will die.
We live in an impatient world, with fierce competition and fleeting opportunities. Organizations that are lean, agile, and quick to respond clearly have the edge.
But organizations can’t go fast if their employees go slow.
So you need to operate with a strong sense of urgency. Accelerate in all aspects of your work, even if it means living with a few more ragged edges. Emphasize action. Don’t bog down in endless preparation trying to get things perfect before you make a move. Sure, high quality is crucial, but it must come quickly. You can’t sacrifice speed. Learn to fail fast, fix it, and race on. Seek radical breakthroughs— quantum leaps—rather than relying solely on incremental, step-by-step improvements.
Take no part whatsoever in resistance to change. If the 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 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. They’re eager to prove themselves and make their mark. You would be that same way if you left your present job and hired on with a different outfit. So why not take that approach right where you are? Now.
Instead of 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. Help create a high-velocity operation.
“I have a microwave fireplace. You can lay down in front of the fire all night in eight minutes.”