BY JOHN M. BERNARD
Before the automobile was in common use many people believed that high-speed car travel would cause the human body to disintegrate starting at about 60 miles per hour. Only 100 years later that belief now sounds so far fetched you probably think I made it up. I did not.
Speed fascinates us and the mystery of it taps into our imagination. As I write this I am traveling in an ordinary jet aircraft traveling some 400 miles per hour and about seven miles above Mother Earth. Ironically, after the flight ended my young daughter told me that the plane we took was “too slow,” which I knew was because once we reached cruising altitude she thought it had actually stopped moving.
Second only to our love to move fast is our passion to get information fast. It wasn’t that long ago that a letter from a far away relative was a treasured possession as it took many weeks to travel to its destination.
Today we get information in real-time. An email traveling at the speed of light circles our globe seven times in one second. So, I don’t know about you but when a web page doesn’t load instantly or when I have to wait for my computer to boot, I am a bit impatient.
It is true that we live in a NOW world with instant access to everything. And the faster things move the more we value time. In fact, we so hate wasting time that when an organization puts us through the hoops as we try to get our needs met we simply want to scream with frustration.
Our NOW world has redefined what customers expect. Yes, they expect your organization to meet their needs, although that’s really just the price of admission. Increasingly time is the dimension from which our speed-driven world derives the greatest value when meeting their needs. These are known as the NOW Moments.
That value creation most often requires the intervention of employees. Unless those employees have the skills and authority to take action NOW, your business is at risk of becoming irrelevant to your customers.
And our passion for speed is only accelerating.
We live in a time where we must do Business at the Speed of Now. Management’s new job is to enable their employees to deliver on the NOW Moments.