Speed differentiates between winning and losing | Sunday Observer

Speed differentiates between winning and losing

Speed matters in everything; whether in terms of machine or human activity, speed differentiates between winning and losing. In essence, it could be a real competitive advantage when all other variable factors seem equal.

To be fast means to see trends and big opportunities before they become obvious to everyone; to make decisions on the spot and without delay; to execute quickly at every level; and to anticipate the need for change before the marketplace passes on a judgment that you just don’t ‘get it’ as a business.

Speed has its popular connotation but speed in business isn’t about being frazzled and out of breath. What frazzles us and wears us out are all the speed bumps that get put in our path while on a journey of business.

If your execution speed is lower than that of your known and unknown competitors, then you are in for a surprising defeat. Bad as it can be, the loss of sizable revenue opportunities may not be experienced until you have invested big time money and sweat into the game.

Perhaps if you are still at the early stage, always bear in mind that businesses are built not to be the innovative first fast mover, but to fill a void in the market place. Life’s best opportunities are measured in time.

And that time is not enough to accomplish all that you desire. So making the right choice is crucial for success.

Small organizations

In the fast paced world we live in today, speed is the ultimate customer turn on. Customer’s today are willing to pay for speed. The old saying ‘time is money’ is more true in the new world.

Everyone is short of time. Customers hate delays, long queues, and out-of-stocks. Customers love finding what they want, making the purchase and getting back to work fast. Speed is the one advantage that the big competition can’t duplicate easily.

Most big companies are bureaucratic, functionalized, and self-absorbed with long approval processes and due diligence.

They don’t listen, they are slow to change, and they kill momentum and initiative. The one barrier to entry that still stands is ‘execution’.

Everybody can get the same idea and lots of people can raise money but when it comes to implementing and executing lots of competitors are all thumbs. Ideas without speedy execution are worth nothing. If you think your idea is worth anything to anyone other than yourself: Try selling it.

Organizational reflexes

A company can see an opportunity to innovate or capture new customers and market share, but by the time resources are allocated and people with the right skills are put in place, the opportunity is gone.

The organization simply cannot get out of its own way. The pace of change takes its toll on an organization.

One way to think about organizational agility is much like the way the head of a supply chain organization thinks about quality.

Quality isn’t a matter of appointing someone to check your products, because by then it’s too late; rather, it’s a matter of embedding scrutiny and commitment into every step of the process. An agile organization looks across multiple dimensions of talent, culture, organization structure and leadership, and embeds flexibility to ensure speed.

It adds up to a workforce that can move closer to the speed of ideas and opportunities.

The exemplars also put a premium on rich collaboration — which shouldn’t be confused with slow consensus-building.

Truly effective collaboration involves the wide distribution and free flow of information; quick sharing of perspectives from across the organization, and rapid decision making that can, when needed, jump hierarchies in a single bound. 

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