No this is not a conversation about sports, it’s about the workforce of tomorrow. Speed is the new determinate in success or failure.
In my recruiting days at the Limited we used to say if you snooze you loose, referring to closing on high demand candidates. Well that concept has evolved to every aspect of our work day. From plowing thru 400 emails a day to responding to customer requests and every possible action undertaken daily. Speed on the internet, connectivity to virtual work any time, any place and anywhere has changed the expectation in the work place. Josh Bersin over at Bersin by Deloitte recently weighed in with a LinkedIn article on the need for HR to build tools to develop employees to respond to this new work requirement. Anyone in HR needs to read this as it is spot on.
As you may know I am a big believer in Time as the new currency in our lives. Well if Time is the currency, then Speed is the operating model. I am often finding that those who can access the information and respond the quickest far exceed the performance outcomes of peers who are smarter or more experienced. Information is free and always available today so you no longer need to be the smartest kid in the room. You need to be the savviest, able to gather the right knowledge from the right folks in as quick a manner as possible.
Recently one of my key reports got sick and needed to take time off. I felt a level of anxiety as she is one of my key go to executives for quick information. She seems to have everything at her fingertips. the reality is almost all of it resides up in the “cloud”, but she knows exactly where and has laser fast reflexes to pull it down, manipulate it and get it to me in a matter of minutes. the good news was I didn’t need anything urgently during her absence, however if I did, I know she could have grabbed it quickly while lying in bed and recuperating (glad I didn’t have to reach out).
We are starting to build and evaluate competencies in my organization. Speed will certainly be considered for the list. We are also looking at new areas to develop skills across the enterprise, again speed is on top of the list.
My CEO likes for us to be fast. It took a while but now I get it, and you should too!