“Be quick, but don’t hurry,” is a
famous quote from John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach
of UCLA. In other words, do the right things, but learn how to do them quickly.
Author Andrew Hill
recounting his playing days with Wooden, says, “Life, like basketball, must be
played fast—but never out of control.”
In today's competitive global workplace, lack of quickness results in competitive disadvantage while hurrying causes mistakes. Balance is one of the keys to agility. “John Wooden’s genius was in helping his players find and maintain that razor’s edge between quickness and hurrying. The epitome of global competitiveness is forcing your competition to hurry.
Your team can turn out a new product in 9 months—they are fast, but they don’t hurry. They balance on the edge, fast, but not too fast. Through experience, knowledge, and skill, they know what pace they can sustain and turn out a high-quality product. A competitor looks at your 9 month development cycle time and says, “we can do that.” But they can’t—they don’t have the knowledge, skill, or discipline.
When management forces their team
into trying to keep up a pace that they really can’t sustain. They hurry. They
make mistakes. They fall short in feature implementations. They cut corners,
blame others, lose their concentration, become highly stressed, and end up with
Sports teams are constantly trying to get the competition to play “their” game. A fast-break basketball team tries to force the competitors into running up and down the court—forcing them into playing a game they aren’t comfortable with—forcing them to hurry, forcing them into errors because they are playing over the edge instead of on the edge.
The agility that comes from a balance between hurrying and quickness comes from the ability to both create and respond to change in order to profit in a turbulent business environment. Of these two aspects of agility, creating change is the most powerful. The companies in front, the one's creating the changes as opposed to responding to the changes, has a leg up on competitors.
The winners are quick. Losers are forced into
Being quick without hurrying is about exploration, innovation, accelerating development speed, and quality. They are about being quick, but not hurrying.
The Glowan consulting Group was formed in 1993 on the premise that individuals and organizations needed more than just pre-designed, prescripted "training" to meet their human development goals. Organizations and our societies are changing at a rate never seen before in our experience and we need tools, techniques and support systems to meet those new challenges. Glowan has been meeting those needs via our broad and deep offerings of Leadership and Management Development Services and Products. Visit www.glowan.com for more information.