I know, many of you feel overwhelmed and over hurried already. Why should you want to improve pace? I equate pace with energy and energy with focus. When people are overwhelmed and hurried, that's not pace - that's actually a lack of pace.
Imagine walking upstream through a stream with big lumpy moss covered rocks.
Now imagine walking downstream a smooth flowing stream bedded with small pebbles and no moss. This is what real pace feels like - it drives things forward smoothly but with great energy.
Impetus #1: I did a teleseminar for Kaplin University as part of their enrichment series and talked about energy's important connection to focus.
Impetus #2: I did a brisk walk around my neighborhood with my orange shuffle. I have changed up the exercise music on this new iPod - faster paced stuff, stuff like Rodrigo y Gabriela (I highly recommend them). I felt like I was walking down stream - very fast. Pace and focus went through the roof!
So as managers, what can we do to make it feel like we are walking while listening to Rodrigo y Gabriela? And do it in a way that is smooth and energizing? I am talking about affecting the drumbeat of the organization (I am using the term "drumbeat" like we do for manufacturing processes).
1. Obliterate constraints that get in the way - get rid of the big, lumpy, moss covered rocks.
2. Get things flowing - improve the processes of how work gets done. Don't forget the de facto processes like communication, decision making, and prioritization.
3. Be the drumbeat you seek. Focus like and work like you have Rodrigo y Gabriela in your head all day long.
4. Realign roles so that everyone's job matters and the tasks that they are doing make sense.
5. Pump up the fun and color in the workplace. Ditch the sterile gray and taupe and let the office look and feel a bit more energizing.
Bonus: Secretly pipe in Rodrigo y Gabriela music and exotic aromatherapy. Get an espresso machine and have 3pm latte chats around it. Productivity will soar! Buy everyone orange iPod shuffles for the ride to and from work and breaks. Preload all the iPods with Rodrigo y Gabriela.