Good Overview of Thinking and Decision Processes for Speed!,
This review is from: It's Not the Big That Eat the Small...It's the Fast That Eat: How to Use Speed as a Competitive Tool in Business (Hardcover)This book is the best one I have read to date on helping a company accelerate its ability to move ahead of the competition by being better at sensing the environment and reacting to it. Those who are interested in checking their organizations for stalled thinking in this regard will find a useful list of areas to investigate and improve.
"Do more with less and do it faster." That's the mantra that the authors have investigated through their case histories of Charles Schwab, Clear Channel Communications, America On Line, H&M (clothing stores), Hotmail, Telepizza (European home delivery pizza chain), and Lend Lease (Australian company).
The book is organized into four sections: Fast thinking; fast decisions; get to market faster; and sustaining speed. Each one contains a number of key points, with subpoint details to further elaborate.
Here's how Fast Thinking is organized:
"Speed . . . without a destination in mind, is haste." The focus of this section is on creating improvements in your business model or new business models.
The key sections under the heading are to anticipate; spot trends; put ideas through a thorough testing process to probe for their downside weaknesses; and being sure that the best idea wins by changing the company environment. Each of these sections is illustrated with examples from the companies that were studied and more detail on the key elements.
In this example, you should see the potential weakness of the book. It correctly points you toward spotting trends, but cannot possibly teach you what you need to know in just a few pages. So you will want to expand on the points here by reading other books that deal with these areas in more depth. In essence, the book then is an outline of the business processes you need for innovation in business models, choosing the right ones, getting them implemented well, and staying agile.
The primary metaphor is to Wayne Gretzky, who was famous for his ability to anticipate where the puck would go next . . . and to aim for that spot. If you can determine what is what's likely to be ahead, that can be enough of an advantage to win over competitors.
While I have not studied all of these companies, what was said about the ones that I know well was certain accurate and full of insight. I assume the rest was done equally as well. Many of the conclusions are similar to my own work on irresistible forces.
Of the four sections, I thought that the first section on fast thinking had the most original material, and will be the most valuable for many companies. If you have problems with fast decisions and getting to market fast, you may find it hard to change very quickly. But if you are already in pretty good there, the first section can increase the flow of good new ideas for you to consider. Many CEOs tell me that this is a limitation for them.
I do have some concerns. If everyone organizes for speed, how sustainable will that be? Perhaps it would be better to organize to grasp advantages that then become unavailable to others.
Also, what is it going to be like to work for a company like this? What is your family life going to be like? For readers who are interested in these questions, I suggest you read Professor Robert Reich's new book, The Future of Success. It has many thought-provoking ideas on this subject.
After you have organized for maximum speed that makes sense for your business and the personal lives of those involved, I suggest that you consider how the experience can be made much less demanding on everyone. That's the area where the most innovation is needed.
May you make rapid progress towards worthwhile goals . . . and have time to smell the roses along the way!
It's Not the Big That Eat the Small...It's the Fast That Eat: How to Use Speed as a Competitive Tool in Business(3 customer reviews)
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