Speed is the Most Overlooked Differentiator
Working faster — and smarter — in any business environment.
On April 30, N6A founder and CEO Matt Rizzetta was joined by Alex Schmelkin, CMO at no-code application platform company Unqork, for a webinar focused on speed. Often the most unsung key differentiator, it’s a concept that is the least understood yet equally crucial to being successful as any other business principle. With many businesses facing unprecedented adversity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of speed-to-market has never been more critical.
The biggest question is, how can you navigate this environment — smarter and faster — than your competition? The effect of empowering efficiencies at every level across your business from the top down means increasing speed without sacrificing quality, and navigating any environment with productivity and decisiveness.
COVID is creating opportunities like never before to accelerate growth, leap competitors in the marketplace, and position yourself with an edge. Here are some of the actionable insights from the webinar on how business leaders can increase speed without sacrificing quality, and executing with efficiency and decisiveness.
Develop processes, protocols and channels so that messages are being communicated proactively, preemptively and with authority. Never manage communication from a position of defense. Lead communicators in the company should always be on offense when it comes to communication. This guarantees a rapid flow of information that will progress through not only employees, but customers and key stakeholders as well.
You should also consider establishing regular checkpoints and distribution channels to communicate updates on business impact, protocols and general changes as your business’s situation evolves. It’s impossible to predict what’s coming next. All you can do is be prepared, and get ahead of communications with multiple planning scenarios.
Don’t waste time overthinking or falling into the trap of analysis by paralysis. Competitors are out there right now being overwhelmed and operating with indecision. Your business can beat them to market right now with smart content and positioning that serves a real purpose.
This requires decisiveness, so please be smart, think things through, but make quick decisions and then bring them to market even quicker. Speed and decisiveness go hand-in-hand. Given the current conditions, all go-to-market decisions you make for your brand need to be well reasoned, pressure-tested and rationalized. Once you’ve run through the proper checks and balances, then it’s time to make your decisions.
Everyone has 24 hours in a day, but you can still compress time by operating at a faster pace than your competitors. This requires a thorough look at all of your standard processes, decision-making channels, and routines. Think about ways in which you can eliminate redundancies and compress time on some of these things.
Create streamline processes to make sure the flow of communications go through one lead or a small handful of leads; set up communication transparency channels such as dedicated email aliases and Slack channels to control the flow of communication; cut your standing meetings from 60 minutes down to a half-hour; or see if you can complete deliverable tasks that normally take 20 minutes in five.
Cut back on redundancies as much as possible so that you can maximize your time as an operator. Hold your direct-reports to the same standard to do everything you can to accelerate the overall work pace. Every minute counts — never chaotic, but always compressed. You’ll churn out the same high-quality deliverables in a fraction of the time, and the time you buy back can be put to use in order to bring new value to market for your brand.
Create Top-Down Alignment
Look at the most senior and most junior members of your team and ensure they are fully aligned on speed and timing goals.
One way to systematically pull this together is to enact custom KPIs. COVID provides a clean slate to start fresh and create new goals for the company to set the pace for standard processes. Rapid key performance indicators should be used as an asset to track Incremental improvement and sustained quality. Once you have enough data in place, see where your people were most efficient and then adjust your management style in that direction for maximum efficiency.
To learn more about the impact of speed, check out the replay of our Embrace the Pace webinar here.
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