Saturday, July 4, 2009


Some things do take time to happen. Fruit ripens, concrete cures, the earth goes around the sun. Change, however, happens in no time at all, and problems happen when those who are in charge of strategic thinking for organizations are disengaged from the change.

What we need more of is what I will call speedership: Leadership that understands its need to act quickly, and to be looking farther down the road than ever before. If you have ever driven a car at speeds in excess of 100 miles and hour (don't worry, I won't tell, but let's hope you were on a track, or in Germany), you know exactly what this means. Objects and turns appear and are past you before you know it. You have to train yourself to react within very short spans of time, and to focus at the extremes of your ability.

Here are 3 basic tenets of speedership that every leader should understand:
  1. You are in touch with the speed of change in your industry and within your organization—and you understand the gap between the two
  2. You have surrounded yourself with people who can either research and understand rapid change, or who can accomplish rapid change
  3. You do everything in your power to remove barriers to change
Practice speedership every day. If you do not anticipate coming changes and learn how to respond with lightning reflexes, you will certainly wind up watching your competitors, and very possibly your own organization, speeding toward the checkered flag while you are left behind.

Give it some thought.


  1. Great article Roy.

    When I worked at Intuit, one of the things that impressed me was their Core Values.

    One of those Core Values is "Think Smart, Move Fast" (originally "ThinkFast, Move Fast" but it was changed to reflect that there was a difference between moving fast in a bad direction and moving towards something of value).

    I have continued to embody that line of thinking in my life in the 7+ years since I left there. Ideas without action have no value and often the speed at which the world moves requires you to take that action very quickly and to move at a pace which allows you to keep pace or move ahead of others taking similar action.

  2. Shane,

    Thanks for your comment. "Think Smart, Move Fast" are great watchwords for an organization,and I have no doubt that carrying those values forward has served you well.

    Over the past few years, we have seen the dire consequences for organizations (Polaroid, Kodak and RIM to name only three) that can result from a failure to be attuned to the pace of change and stay ahead of it.
    Best regards - Roy