In a warp speed world, laggards lose because time frames are compressing―change that once took months and years now happens in days and hours. You need speed to succeed.
That is why the world’s most successful leaders avoid mental inertia and think differently when circumstances change. They act quickly to spot opportunities, mobilize resources, pivot plans, and execute.
GEO provides proven practices to accelerate actions by individual leaders, project teams, and cross-boundary groups.
If your gonna lead, increase your speed.”
―Excerpt from Leland Russell’s “Strategy Rap”
In a warp-speed world, time is NOT on your side — the slower you move, the less chance you have of achieving your objectives.
One reason is Murphy’s Law, which states that “anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
Another reason for speed is the ever-changing environment. No matter how theoretically perfect your original plan may be, as the execution timeline lengthens, its value depreciates because the context changes.
The case for moving quickly is clear and undeniable and most leader understand this. Of course, the devil is in the details of HOW TO achieve the speed you need to succeed.
Here are five of the myriad ways GEO helps you accelerate actions:
- Simplify Everything– Clear away anything and everything that isn’t immediately essential. The “Lean Movement” has a simple statement about how to do this. Eliminate “Muda”. Muda (無駄) is a Japanese word meaning “uselessness; wastefulness”.
In addition to eliminating Muda, you can also stop doing low-value activities and you can postpone mid- and high-value activities that aren’t immediate priorities. This leaves you with less on your plate. It “clears the air” and allows you to do the important things faster (and better!).
- Create a Sense of Urgency– Given the warp-speed change around us, it is astounding that some people are complacent and self-satisfied with their current situation, without any awareness of the potential defects or impending dangers. The leader’s job is to wake people up, beginning with themselves. Step one is to “walk the talk” of moving quickly.
For example, keep meetings short, to the point, and agenda-driven. Lead in a way that creates an atmosphere of urgency. Communicate the negative consequences of delay and the personal costs. Agree on aggressive deadlines for action and hold yourself and others accountable. Bring the outside in; illuminate the realities of external change and how the winners around the world are acting.
- Use a Parallel Approach – There are two basic approaches to action in a group: move serially, taking one step at a time; or, move in parallel, taking many steps simultaneously. One of the benefits of a Parallel Approach (concurrent engineering, market blitz, simultaneous deployment, etc.) is that it allows you to achieve the speed you need to succeed.
Case in point: The global brand Pokemon targeted the youth market—specifically, young boys between the ages of 6 and 12. Suddenly the brand was everywhere at once: a widely-distributed movie; a cartoon show that aired 11 times each week on the Warner Brothers network; collectible trading cards; an ad blitz that included television, radio and print ads; multiple websites that offered interactive components like “Pokedex,” which helped kids track the toys they wanted to collect; promotional tie-ins with major organizations like Burger King; and, last but not least, a video game.
How fast do YOU need to move? The answer is simple. Faster than the rate of change in your environment.
The former CEO of GE, Jack Welch, explains why: “If the rate of change inside an organization is less than the rate of change outside, the end is in sight.”
GEO delivers a wide array of acceleration practices. Here are three examples:
- Simplifying – By reducing low-value activities and streamlining steps in high-value activities, leaders have less on their plate. This opens the door to more time and space to get important things done faster and better.
- Orchestrating – By ensuring common purpose, conscious commitment, and continuous calibration, we get action teams performing together in a unified, aligned, and effective manner that delivers faster, better results.
- Common Language – By engaging a critical mass across levels, locations, and functions, and embedding FastTime® terminology, e.g., Start Smart, Think Together, Tell the Truth in Real-Time, we get people singing on the same page.
When you move quickly you gain a competitive advantage because:
- Key planning assumptions don’t become obsolete.
- There are fewer unanticipated consequences.
- Internal opposition to change is preempted.
- Planning gaps quickly surface and can be corrected.
- Fast wins create a positive psychology for more actions.
- Desired results and economic benefits are accelerated
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