The fundamental question for today’s business manager is: “How can we get to speed?”
Speed is key. Even back in the late 19th century, Elbert Hubbard, a US writer and philosopher, thought progress was happening at a rapid pace as he wrote, “The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can’t be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.”
And now, business is changing more rapidly than ever before.
The technology innovations of the last 150 years have completely reshaped our way of living. This means radical new businesses and radical new ways to run the existing businesses. What fascinates me, is the continuous acceleration along both these paths.
Consider a well-established existing business like the car industry. Today, the typical automotive design-cycle is less than 36 months which is much faster than the 60-month life cycle from just five years ago. Consider the time it takes consumers to embrace a new technology: the radio took 38 years to be adopted by 50 million users; the TV reached the same number in 13 years; and the Internet achieved 50 million users in about half that time – in seven.
This means our speed to apply changes in the business world is the ultimate source for a sustainable competitive advance.
At my company, SAP, we are strongly focusing on the concept of “simplicity”. This focus is making people widely enthusiastic. Why are the simple things so appealing? My view is that because simplicity empowers individuals and organizations to focus on what is most important for them – their core expertise, value add, and passion – and to minimize the time spent on activities that have a low impact a business’s goals and interests.
This “value-catalyst” is the prerequisite to achieve agility and speed, and to enable companies to adapt to the rapid changes ahead.
In nature, the species that survive and evolve are the ones which react best to the environmental changes. It’s the same in business too.
Simply like that.
The concept of simplicity is very close to my heart, as easily can be seen from my website title. We will have time to go through some of the proven strategies that will help businesses simplify in order to achieve greater speed. Stay tuned!
Copyright 2014 Andrea Masci. All Rights Reserved.