In business, there is often one defining factor that differentiates success from the “also rans,” and that key is speed.
The marketplace today requires the ability to make swift decisions and take swift action. That is not to say it is wise to take off with no thought as to direction or goals, but instead that the analysis and action must work closely in tandem.
What slows the speed of business?
Let’s talk about what slows the speed of business. And, more importantly, how you can address each factor in order to increase speed.
The Problem: Wearing Too Many Hats
If you as the leader of a sizeable business are wearing all hats, this will create a backlog in some part of the business. Maybe the work gets done, but the bookkeeping gets neglected. The paperwork may be in order, but the work is behind. The business may be running, but there is no future vision. This is especially problematic if you are wearing hats you don’t even like!
The Cure: Pass the Hat
Choose the area of your strongest weakness, and hire someone for whom that is a strength. Two things will happen: The work will get done faster, and you will be free to work in your strengths, which will help you attain more profitability faster. Choose someone to lead in the strengths that are not yours. Let them wear the hat that fits them well, while you do the same.
The Problem: Vision and Decision
There are visionaries – thinkers, planners, creators. And there are decision makers – quick to decide and quick to act. The problem is that seldom are these the same person. This results in companies that are either stuck in analysis paralysis or companies who act before thinking through the consequences. Neither is a solid path to success.
The Cure: Hire Visionaries and Decision Makers
Create a team that includes both visionaries and decision makers. This creates a balance, where actions are planned but also executed. It creates a quicker analysis process, while still maintaining the need for one.
The Problem: The Way It Was Vs. The Way It Is
One big factor, especially in large businesses, is resistance to change.
“This is the way we’ve always done it.”
“This is the product we’ve always produced.”
“These are methods we’ve always used to market our business.”
Chances are, at least one of those “always” methods is no longer working. If you can’t adjust (or if you adjust at a slower pace than your competition), you could be out of business.
This is where large, established businesses need to take a lesson from the new and growing businesses, Amazon being a prominent example.
The questions to ask yourself as the leader of a significantly sized corporation are: “How quickly can we adapt to the needs of our customers?” and “How far ahead of those needs are we in terms of innovation?”
The Cure: Create a Strong Combination
The fact is, a company needs the strength of experience and established practices. But they also need the strength of innovation and forward thinking. Create a leadership team that includes both, and you have a very strong contender in both strength of the corporation and speed.
The Problem: Lack of Efficiency and Effectiveness
These two facets are similar but not the same. Efficiency is the methodology used to get things done in a timely matter. Effectiveness is getting the right things done. Efficiency is about process; and effectiveness is about priorities. Now more than ever, addressing priorities efficiently is key.
The Cure: Focus on Both
It appears we D-wired leaders can get more done than anyone else. The reality is, we are experts at effectiveness. We know how to cut to the chase and determine priorities.
But by nature, we are not good at the details. For that, we need efficiency experts – those who know how to do the details and do them quickly.
This is a win-win combination that swiftly determines priorities and quickly addresses the details needed to accomplish those priorities.
Think about your organization. Are you swiftly making progress and creating profit in your business? Do you have the leadership strengths you need on your team to make that happen?
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.
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