There is an interesting dichotomy which forms a fundamental aspect of making high-quality decisions in your business.

Patience + Speed = Success

You must be patient enough to collect the necessary data to make a prudent decision. Then you need to make that decision with speed. Many companies are slow in deciding on and then implementing key initiatives.. Their hesitation leads to the market making the decision for them as a competitor who was nimbler executes the idea faster. So how do you create a culture where things move at a fast pace, decisions are made quickly, and speedy execution is the norm?


Here Are Two Ideas to Think About:

Reward Fast Action

You don’t always get what you ask for from employees, but you almost certainly get what you reward. Creating a culture of urgency requires building formal and informal systems for celebrating people who take the initiative and make things happen. When people throughout the organization see that agility, accountability, and being proactive are highly valued and rewarded, you will see a change in attitude.

However, there are two caveats to this recommendation. First, if you ask people to move quickly and make decisions with speed, from time to time they will make mistakes. Tolerance for risk-taking and acceptable business failures goes hand-in-hand with a culture that encourages a sense of urgency. Second, people who do not move quickly or tie everything up in red tape must be dealt with decisively. There is nothing more frustrating to top performers than pushing them to embrace speed, only to have them run into a brick wall of bureaucracy.


Multiply the Speed of Your Brain

Several years ago, I received an unexpected call from the CEO of one of my top client firms.

“John,” he said, “I have a corporate espionage emergency. We’ve discovered two of our vice presidents have been stealing files and are trying to set up another business to compete directly with ours. I’ve never faced this before, and I need your help. What should I do?” I explained that I was away from my office at that moment but would go back immediately and send him a memo with my very best advice by the end of business that day. Then, I hung up the phone and gathered my thoughts. I knew absolutely nothing about corporate espionage and had never dealt with it before in my career. So I rushed back to my desk and typed out an e-mail to a few dozen of my top-level contacts at several major corporations.

Within minutes of hitting Send on my keypad, the phone rang. Within a few hours, I had received calls and e-mails from nearly two dozen senior executives who had all dealt with corporate espionage in their careers and were eager to offer their advice and guidance. I took all the advice these talented people gave me and wrote a memo to my client, letting him know that these were not just my ideas but also the ideas I had garnered from my network of top-level executives.

Two weeks later, I received a call from my client. He told me, “We hired one of the top corporate espionage attorneys in the country to help us with this case, and when he arrived, we showed him the memo you sent to us. He said it was the single finest memo on what to do if faced with corporate espionage that he had ever seen and asked for a copy of it. John, we can’t possibly thank you enough for your help and guidance in the middle of this difficult situation.”


Here’s the point

At 9:00 on the morning of that first call from the CEO, I knew nothing about corporate espionage. By 4:00 pm, I was able to deliver valuable information and advice to assist my client in making a fast and high-quality decision. It should be no different for you. Surround yourself with a massive network of exceptionally talented people inside and outside your organization. Get in the habit of asking for help. You’ll soon realize that you can gather the information you need to make fast, high-quality decisions supported by a strong bias for action.


I hope you found this helpful. Let me know if you have any questions. Take good care.

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