Speed

A New Pace

Tom Ehrich wrote this:

All around us, the pace is speeding up. We must take that into account in leading organizations.

For example, just months after seeming on top of the world, Facebook is entering a strange crisis – irritating its users with recent changes in news feed, losing its special edge, seeming more a commodity than a special place to be – all in the period of a few days.

Facebook’s leaders will rally – they made a major announcement this afternoon – but it’s a sign of the fast lane that up to down to up can seem to happen overnight.

Another relatively mature company, Netflix, made a single increase in prices and immediately began to implode. Hewlett-Packard is said to be meeting today to oust its CEO – just a year after hiring him.

Technology startups now measure their window of opportunity in months, not years. College athletic conferences seem to be realigning daily. Television shows being rolled out this week will have two months to find an audience. A new restaurant, a longtime restaurateur told me, has six months to make it or close. Some movies lose their luster after two weekends.

Web sites mature faster and need to be refreshed every few months. Books seem to cycle through the best-seller lists faster. Colleges change presidents faster; baseball managers change pitchers faster.

And on it goes, a quickening pace that sweeps up everything, even things that seem timeless.  No one gets a free pass, not even entities that declare their intention to go slow or not move at all.

When the people we serve are caught up in this fast pace, when the needs we intend to address are changing scope and character faster, when our financial fortunes seem to fluctuate faster, there is no Go Slow button we can push.

While it is nice to reminisce about the good ole days….they are exactly that….the ole days.

Businesses/organizations operate in a speed world.

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