Friday, April 17, 2015

The High-Speed Company Review

I was inspired today by a book (as I often am) called The High-Speed Company: Creating Urgency and Growth in a Nanosecond Culture by Jason Jennings and Laurence Haughton.

I was attracted to the title.  I am a big believer in sense of urgency as one prerequisite of success.  And with my new business - DDE Media, I am thinking a lot about the culture we need.

It starts with a compelling chapter - Doing Well by Doing Good.  This has long been one of my beliefs - so good start.  A quote from the book "Give people the why - they give you the how".  

A cute story from the book:

Teacher:  "How did you do on the test"
Student: "Good"
Teacher: "No, you did well - Superman does good".

I liked that this chapter affirmed that high urgency does not mean high stress.  Actually it means the opposite.  It means focus on the right things.  Have the right systems and processes.  There is a whole chapter on "Systematize Everything".  I have long been an advocate of Michael Gerbers book E-myth.  This chapter was a mini affirmation of E-myth.

Part of being high urgency or nimble if allowing people to do their jobs.  Push decision making down.  As the book says avoid "unnecessary leadership".

The only point I have slight disagreement with is "avoid CAVE people".  No - not those on the paleo diet but Citizens Against Virtually Everything.  I have actually had good success by keeping a few people around me who challenge everything.  It helps me think more and build a better case.  If you can sell a CAVE person, it likely is a good idea.

The authors advocate being close to your customers.  There was interesting stories of P and G visiting real families in Turkey to get close.  

And of course there was a chapter on communications.  Really listening - hearing.  Not like the Bette Midler quote "enough about me - lets talk about what you think about me".

Some quotes:

"Prioritize fanatically"

"Nothing fails like success"  (Success can cause complacency)   

""Success turns risk takers into caretakers"

"Who will not follow a leader who puts their own interests above their own"

"Those who succeed go through life not thinking "its all about me", they think "its all about others."

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