What are the dangers of rushing a strategic initiative or belaboring a tactical one? In a real-time world, with real-time workers, real-time consumers and real-time feedback, it can be hard to take a minute to think.
There’s a book called Thinking Fast And Slow. I have had the privilege of working with people in both camps—those that think fast and slow. Those that think fast are often likely to go on gut and are willing to accept any risks associated with their conclusions. Those that think slow, may sometimes need additional back-up for their ideas or be searching for “the eureka,” but thinking must inevitably come to action.
And with the thinking done we are brought to the realities of “Acting fast and slow”. In a world that increasingly moves at break-neck speed it is difficult to defend acting slow…but it still has its place. The key is that strategy must drive action.
When should you be strategic and slow?
- In a mature market with a secure, renewable customer base who may be spooked if you are erratic or unclear in your path.
- In a new market that is so fast changing and hyped that you may blow your entire budget and position by following the herd.
When should you tactically act fast?
- When competitors are holding back and your customers are clambering for more…or desperate for leadership and help.
- When it has been a solid year since you took a stand, spoke to your market or customer-base and are in danger of fading away.
The world—and your customers—won’t stop for you. Whether you’re slow to think or slow to act. Be only as deliberate as you need to be. But remember, if you’re not speaking to your prospects and customers—someone else is. If you’re not actively addressing their concerns in the marketplace—someone new is working on a napkin and will be in the market before you can schedule a planning session. Get to market as fast as you can. And get to market with people that can move quickly to help you capture your market…or somebody else will.