I’ve recently been spending time with an idol of mine, Gary Vaynerchuk, who is currently advocating that organisations speed up their operations and their ability to respond to challenges, unexpected surprises and market changes. In previous posts, we’ve covered things like the importance of being proactive, as well as ways to improve your time management skills, but something often forgotten is applying speed to almost every aspect of your operations, while making sure the quality of your product or service doesn’t suffer, and your clients remain well-served.
Something that springs to mind in this context is a book by Jason Jennings and Laurence Haughton, “It’s not the Big That Eat the Small… It’s the Fast that Eat the Slow; How To Use Speed as a Competitive Tool in Business.” While some advice dished out is more applicable to certain industries and operations, the overall theme is applicable to any and every organisation: slow organisations are eaten up by the fast ones, and customers will always gravitate toward the organisation they know can deliver on, or ahead of time… Wouldn’t you?
‘It’s a juggling act, balancing the quality of your product or service, and the speed in which you deliver.’
This ties closely in with what we were discussing in the feature article on empathy which you can access here. If you deploy empathy, particularly in the context of sitting in your customer’s shoes, you’re more likely to subsequently deploy speed in your organisation to better serve your customers and out-do your competition. If you’re empathetic to the needs of customers, you’ll see that time is a key theme- never too far from the foray.
Speed can be your point of difference in the market if you’re exceptionally fast, or it can at the very least become the bedrock promises you’re making to the market. In this ever-connected digital ecosystem, there are few excuses for not meeting customer expectations when it comes to the speed in which you deliver your product or service, or at the very least, get in contact with customers if there’s a shortcoming in your supply chain.
There’s a few important things we need to cover, here- the first being that customers expect speed when it comes to a transaction these days. The second is that if your organisation isn’t fast, it’s only a matter of time before it’s left in the wake of competitors that are faster. Third, the speed in which your organisation learns this, the faster is can adapt and evolve into a competitive beast, and once you’ve initiated this cycle, it will perpetuate a culture of speed throughout your organisation. If, from day one of a new employee’s tenure, you’re pushing the importance of a fast delivery, they’ll realise that this is an integral part of your organisation, and their efforts in the future will have to keep up this expectation.
‘A big, complex bureaucratic system may well have its benefits, but speed isn’t one of them.’
Effective organisations are agile, and able to keep up - hopefully anticipate - market changes and adapt their behaviour accordingly. We’ve got a new piece on removing the hierarchy in your organisation which is designed to create a culture of empowerment, and give anyone in your organisation the ability to be proactive and make changes without structural boundaries or bureaucracy slowing down the speed of change.
'A big, complex bureaucratic system might have its benefits, but speed isn’t one of them.'
On a similar note, I’ve been telling people for years now to keep it simple, and this is particularly important when we’re talking about the speed in which you deliver a product or service, or get the wheels in motion internally in your organisation. A big, complex bureaucratic system might have its benefits, but speed isn’t one of them, and more often than not I’ve seen organisations get bogged-down and ultimately suffer because of a management system that is too complicated and slow for its own good.
Remember that speed should be at the forefront of your decision making and your management style, and if it’s not, you’re likely to be overtaken by a competitor that recognises this. Keep it simple, and make it fast!
Thanks again for your time,