We live in a world that believes instant results are achievable. From food to weight loss, and from fame to shareholder value, we are seduced by the need for speed. When we scratch the surface of the golden idol of immediacy, what’s underneath is a little bit rotten. Here’s why:
1. Ready, Fire, Aim! Rarely Hits the Mark.
Most organizations, large or small, are prejudiced towards tactics. Only a few take the time and effort to build a solid strategy before launching into product development, sales and marketing efforts. When we race to be seen without knowing who we are, we slow our business down, wasting enormous amounts of time and profit, although we seem enormously busy.
2. Most Overnight Success – Aren’t.
Whether we are discussing professional speakers, artists, entrepreneurs or politicians – it takes most “overnight successes”10-20 years to earn the right to have center stage. Malcolm Gladwell got it right in Tipping Point, when he stated it takes 10,000 hours for mastery. We set ourselves up for disappointment at best, and failure at worst, unless we have resources for the longer journey.
3. Fast Results Burn Fuel Faster.
We chew through both money and time at an accelerated rate when we are operating at full throttle. If you want to go fast, plan to burn through your resources before you hit orbit. A higher percentage of fast growth companies tank while the slower growth peers are more sustainable.
4. Unnatural Speed Destroys The System.
You can’t rush the gestation process of a baby or crash diet without damaging your metabolism. The same is true in business. Growing faster than systems and processes are in place creates a culture of stress, conflict, serious errors, disengagement, and, ultimately, decline.
5. High Speed Crashes Are Typically Fatal.
When we drive at high speeds our reflexes are taxed. Any error in judgment is compounded, and the focus shifts from getting to our destination onto staying alive in the moment. When we demand immediate results, we often forget that there will need to be refinements and adjustments along the way. We become rigid and myopic out of a fear of not getting it right, immediately.
6. Fast Requires A Trade Off.
Fast food comes with a body-damaging nutritional trade off. Fast vehicles have to be stripped down. Fast companies often give up a share of their profits for a infusion of funding. Ask yourself: which is more important for the long haul? As the African proverb says: If you want to travel fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
7. Haste Makes Waste.
Have you noticed how often you or your clients have something that had to get done right away – only to have the project disappoint on completion? The decision for immediacy is a choice, and the resulting errors, sloppy workmanship, or incompletion creates noise inside and outside the organization. It creates disrespect for the organization and its output.
Instant results are possible. What matters more is moving out of crisis management and reaction mode into a considered, intentional mode. When we do that, we are responding appropriately to our current conditions. Yes, our website and our social media marketing matter – but it matters far more that we understand who we are speaking to and how we can help them. There’s nothing more immediate – and unstoppable – than that