I just got the paperback in the mail from Debbie Aroff at Random House and I'm already a big fan. The Age of Speed by Vince Poscente is filled with twists and turns and is a fast read. It's about learning to thrive in a more-faster-now culture. Think about this, we want things faster, but we don't necessarily want to do things faster. According to Poscente, speed is the new change.
Many of you already know that. To remain competitive, we must change by design. What things stay, what things go? What interruptions add value, what are just a distraction? It's not so much about keeping up with everything that is out there, but selecting what you anticipate - as in being truly immersed, passionate and interested. That is the only way speed can work to your advantage.
I've seen great use of technology like BlackBerries to speed up while not detracting from the conversation. I spent a few hours between morning greetings, lunch and dinner with Chris Brogan at Marketing Profs B2B Forum in Boston back in June. Now I have a better idea of how he does it. He's in the room with you, in the chair next to yours, totally present to what you are saying - listening and participating, remembering what else you talked about.
Then during a break in the conversation - the waiter brings the salad, you talk to other people, the speaker is getting ready to start - he quickly checks one or two messages. He's so fast and discreet, you might not even notice. For a few moments he is totally with the message, then he's back with you - totally back. I suspect that Chris invests his time and is very selective about what he does, when. Can you do that, too? Can you choose when you are accessible and then to be fully there?
My mentor used to say that paper is like blood, you have to keep it flowing. He had devised a very simple system to deal with memos and emails - deal with the quick answers immediately, including redirecting what needs to be, then align the rest to the projects and context of the day. It's about making choices that align with your authentic purpose. He then had time to walk the halls, talk with colleagues, learn about what was going on - he was accessible of his own choice.
Provide fewer, immediate, faster results and you'll be golden in your career. How do you do that? You focus on your destination. Ask Google about speed, it's as much part of their success as their algorithm. You can also learn to use the velocity of others to your favor - just like in martial arts. A body (and mind) in motion is more flexible and faster on tasks than one that slows down. Yet every movement is choreographed
Today at the Fast Company expert blog we explore if more-faster-now is the answer in relationship to customer conversations. Faster does not mean busier. Accessibility can be designed for speed.
I've recently cut down on some activities that were distractions to focus on others that although afford interruptions on occasion are more aligned with my purpose and destination. Maybe the question is not if you are too accessible, maybe it's about choosing when. Are you selective on who and when has access to you? Is there a difference between work and home?
Read the book and learn if you're a balloon, a zeppelin, a bottle rocket, or a jet.