Go Faster! To Where?

"Speed is a great asset; but it's greater when it's combined with quickness - and there's a big difference. " — Ty Cobb

When I ran competitive races, I was always interested in ways to go faster.

In my work with businesses around the world, they have a universal desire to increase their speed.

I find the similarities between racing and business fun. I find the big difference between racing and business to be startling.

The similarities:

  • The thrill of going fast! Runners and business leaders alike find great joy in going fast. Especially when they have the sense that they're going faster!
  • Winning is actually more important than speed. Runners and businesses both like to finish at least a step ahead of their competition.
  • We love technology. Racers and businesses alike are always looking for the new shoe or the new tool that can give them that extra edge.

There is also one big difference.

Most businesses do not know how to measure how fast they are going. They are faced with some big challenges here.

Go Faster! To Where?

Runners know how far they are running. They know if they are starting a sprint or a marathon.

Runners know that the speed is measured in minutes for that single runner.

In businesses we want to go faster... but how do we measure that?

Faster to where? How can we measure speed to an unknown destination?

The question is subtle and the answer can be complex.

But there is a simple answer. Businesses must focus on improving their speed to value.

Yes it is tricky, but it is possible measure your ability to improve your speed to value.

There are many olympians who went from "pretty good" to medalist after they found the right coach for them.

The same is true for businesses. The great ones find the coaches who know how to tailor make measurements for their speed and provide them with the tools to increase it.

Runners know where to find the gold medal rewards for getting faster.

The gold medals for businesses are hidden. Those that master the big difference between competing as a runner and as business know how to find them.

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,
ALAN WILLETT