Sunday, December 15, 2013

You Cannot Move Too Fast

This is the time of year when I seem to notice the speed at which other drivers on the road are traveling, and when I say "speed" what I mean is the plodding, lethargic, and dawdling forward movement of my roadway cohabitants. What is it that causes drivers to suddenly assume that speed limits are upper-end suggestions, and not the result of engineering to balance safety and throughput?

I'm not talking about inclimate weather, or massive traffic snarls; no I'm referring to that guy who is burning down a two-lane road at the rate of: ((Speed Limit) - 11). As if that weren't enough, I actually had the opportunity to trail a backhoe that achieved 10 MPH. I was tempted to horn him, except he had that giant claw on the back of his vehicle which could have chewed my Grand Cherokee to bits. Live to fight another day, I always say.

In another blog posting a few months back I discussed my conversation with George Coloney, CEO of Forrester Research and our take on the five elements of Digital Disruption. One of the five was that you can't move too fast. In this day, if you have an idea to generate revenue, streamline operations, or reduce costs, complexity, or obstacles - you cannot move too fast in implementing your plans.

Consider - the world’s information is doubling every two years. More video is uploaded to YouTube in 60 days, than the 3 major TV networks in the US have created in the last 60 years. In 2011 the world created a staggering 1.8 zettabytes of information. By 2020 the world will generate 50 times that amount and 75 times the number of "information containers". Competitors are literally springing up from nowhere, and even the ones we know about are moving at unprecedented speed.

You cannot move too fast.

This is not a license to be stupid, or to move without thinking, rather it is an acknowledgement that self-restraint is not an advantage when attracting new markets, business, efficiencies, or customers. Surely, one must have principles and governance relative to quality, integrity, and judgement, but the notion that we must take our time is dead. Metaphorically, when the light turns green, for Pete's sake - GO!

So, if you have an idea to improve your business, you must execute NOW. Not in six months, not in a year, and not when things settle down. Yes, be smart, plan your steps - but move it forward today!

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