I’ve spent the last 20 years trying to make businesses faster – small and large alike. I’ve worked with slow businesses – small and large alike, too. I’ve learned through the process that while most CEOs and senior leaders correctly expend energy on the BIG idea that will drive competitive advantage or create substantial value, they need to also think about how FAST™ they can deliver these services to their target market. Look no further than to the likes of Amazon, Uber, and Google who are big and FAST™.
Here’s a model that will enable you to build a FAST™ business:
1) Focus – Ensure the resources that you are deploying are not competing with one another for various business initiatives. Having 100% of the team focused on your core mission will yield exponentially better results. Your biggest competitor may indeed be your own company! It’s no surprise many large enterprises are spinning off long-term strategic initiatives into separate, autonomous entities.
2) Alignment – Ensure the entire organization’s resources are centered around the mission – products/services, business processes, and people while making certain performance objectives and compensation are aligned appropriately. Driving the right behavior and energy is critical to team success.
3) Streamline – How do you deliver services to your customer in the fewest steps? How do you streamline operations so that the fewest people are involved in touching those services? What percentage of your resources are customer-facing? When asked repeatedly, these questions will bring to light many structural inefficiencies in your business. The goal is to deliver services faster and easier without defect. Allocate at least 15-20% percentage of your IT budget for the purposes of implementing employee-suggested improvements. FAST™ and easy wins the race.
4) Technology-Enabled – If technology is not at the center of your BIG idea decisions, then the risk increases that a competitor will deliver services more effectively. Ask the taxi industry, hotel industry, and retail industry who their main competitors are today compared to 10 years ago. They are technology companies that created new business models for delivering old services.
You have an opportunity to accelerate your business growth and win more business. Just being FAST™ will win you more business. What’s slowing you down?