In Business, You Can’t Argue With Speed
As long as I can remember, I have been quite a straightforward person. Beating around the bush is simply not in my nature. I like things direct, clear, and fast paced. While sometimes this comes off a bit strong, without this mentality, I am certain I wouldn’t be where I am today.
While that’s my own personality, I have also carried these values over to our consultancy: we love speed and agility. But I have come to realize that not everyone is born with a notion of speed. How do we incorporate this into a company culture without compromising work quality?
During my time working at Luxury Retreats, the value placed on speed of delivery was integral in the company culture. Every day felt like we were fighting to make a deadline we had given ourselves. While it was stressful at times, it resulted in a fantastic work ethic and a strong team bond. Every campaign was launched with a sense of urgency while keeping a maximum quality of work and letting our creativity explode.
I truly believe it was our ability to launch products, campaigns and markets before our competitors that caught the attention of Airbnb, who eventually acquired Luxury Retreats.
Now in a new life at BDG, we work with business owners and executives from all kinds of industries. In the same way as I do, they care about their business. With all their ideas and dreams for their future, they want their campaigns and marketing to be of the highest quality. And they want it now.
And why shouldn’t they?
Now this is my mentality, which I share with our leadership team, but how can we apply the same culture to an entire team? I don’t think there’s a single answer to that question, but from my own trial and error, here’s what I think is most important:
- Hire people you know can get the hang of it. Hustle, speed and quality has to be in their DNA, unfortunately in this business, there’s no faking it.
- Make speed part of your culture. Motivate your office like a football team, but with less swearing. Get them excited to be the best and the fastest. When a client asks for something, the team needs to jump on it, ready and determined to deliver the best product, as soon as possible.
- Build a process and trim the rest. What you need is agile management. Being agile is not a buzzword. Yes it helps you do things faster, having daily standup meetings and a Kanban board, but it’s more than just that. Being agile means having a self-managing teams that controls waste (think of waste as any work that you started, but haven’t finished. A work in progress). In order to have a better and faster project turn around, you need a real agile methodology in place.
- Have the experts, build expertise. When you have an expert on your team, by default things are going to be delivered faster and better. Your experts are used to the work and have it mastered, they are your biggest asset. Less hesitation means more time for precision.
- Keep a record! Taking a few minutes to document deliveries, outcomes and findings can save you time and energy for future projects.
- Lead by example. As a company leader, it’s your job to show people what it means to be fast, nimble and excellent at your work. But It’s more than an occasional example, it has to be a consistent way of being. Every day has to have the same drive, be a cheerleader.
All this being said, time is not always equal across businesses and business owners. Two weeks in a fast-growing start-up can easily be equal to two months in an enterprise, maybe even more. So when you’re trying to build fast, waiting two months might not be an option. Sure, without a proper team and tactics, you will be able to deliver good work, but chances are it won’t be your best, and it certainly won’t be first.