Business of Metalforming
Pulse Faster: Pick up your Pace
While reading a brief commentary by Verne Harish, a contributing editor to Fortune magazine and dubbed the “growth guy,” Verne pointed out several reasons why, even in a lagging economy, there are some foolproof ways to ensure that your company thrives. The point that jumped out at me is “pulsing faster.” We all have practiced this at some point in our business cycle, especially if you’ve been a part of a startup. In many cases, companies pick up the pace during a crisis situation where frequent, brief daily meetings are held to keep priorities in place, check performance indicators, make swift changes in strategy and knock down to-do items.
Chances are, at one time or another you have already quickened the pace when dealing with an immediate crisis affecting your business. Maybe it was a quality issue that placed you into a containment situation with your customer. Or perhaps you wanted to “full court press” a sales opportunity to win new business. In either case, you pulled together the right team members, defined the issues, set objectives and determined how you would measure results.
Then roles and responsibilities were assigned to each task and everyone moved. During the exercise tight communication within the team after the huddle ensured successful outcomes. When the crisis passed or the project was awarded, everyone exhaled a deep sigh of relief and back you went to your normal pace, significantly slower.
While as an infrequent exercise this may be exhausting, done as a normal part of the business day you and your team will adjust—like a change in your body’s metabolism. At first, waking at 5 a.m. for a jog seems like the end of the world, but after awhile you look forward to it and feel out of sorts when you miss it. Think about the last time you prepared to go on vacation, and how you were able to cram all of your to-do items into a few days before taking off. You quickened your pace—pulsed faster—and achieved more in a single day than possibly in the week prior. If you can do it then, why not every day? Are you afraid that you might run out of things to do? I’m certain that you can use the additional time to create more ways to innovate better products, improve your productivity, reduce costs, please your customers and so on.
So when it comes to your business, why wait until the next crisis to quicken the pace? Applying “crisis-mode” thinking to your daily operations can be a big boost to your productivity. By pulling together your executive team for micro meetings and by having departments do the same you can quicken the pace of the business, drive accountability and ensure that each day is met with measured progress.While I like in-person meetings best, it’s not always practical, so these don’t need to be face-to-face; they do need to be brief and can be handled as conferences calls or web gatherings. As long as the material covered is concise and adds value, then you keep moving ahead. When uniformly focused, getting your team to “pulse faster” is a way to ensure that even in a downturn you’re leading the industry. MF
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