12/15/2022

DAYLE ANGELES

REVERSING IN AN ACCELERATED WORLD

Speed has long been viewed as a distinguishing feature of innovative businesses; perhaps it’s time to consider a new approach; discover how slow innovation would help you cope in a high-speed world.

IT AIN’T JUST BEING FAST

Let’s face it, we live in a time where everything must be done promptly. We applaud the quickest sprinter, want for the fastest race cars, demand the fastest service, and anticipate the fastest Wi-Fi. But why are we so fascinated by speed? And does being first or fastest always imply being the best?

Psychologists and philosophers believe that we are addicted to the dopamine created by adrenaline spikes when we are put in a fight or flight situation. And that the invention of the automobile has given us a taste of the speed we inherently crave.

It’s no different in business. Silicon Valley has made speed and expansion its gods, with the credo “move fast and smash things.” This concept of growth at all costs is less risky for disruptor brands than it is for large corporate giants. Nevertheless, it has infiltrated Fortune 500 conference rooms.

SLOW INNOVATION IS HAVING A MOMENT

So, why not embrace slowing down?

In many cultures, ‘slow’ is seen as a dirty word, with connotations of being lazy, a slacker, or giving up. However, slow does not have to imply ineffectual. We must not confuse action with achievement.

In reality, several of today’s most successful businesses have mastered the notion of’slow innovation.’ Apple is well-known for not developing new goods, but rather improving them (e.g. the original MP3 player was actually created by Rio in 1998, with the Apple iPod hitting shelves in 2001). Apple also toys with speed by introducing friction into the process of purchasing their products, with many people waiting overnight in line to get their hands on the current version. As a result, buyers value that thing much more because it required more time and effort to get.

And then there are firms like Ball Corporation, which strategically evolved from a hardwood bucket company to a glass jar company to a metal can company to a plastic bottle company. The firm’s broad identity as the world’s finest container organization has kept it together for more than a century, without being too reactive to the next danger or trend.

HOW TO DECELERATE

Sure, you may be thinking, well my company can’t go any slower when it comes to innovating. It’s the execution part of the journey where companies are usually going too slow. Rather than taking the time to do their due diligence in the upfront innovation process, they often jump straight into ‘solutioning’. This involves investing lots of money and resources into market research to reinforce business-first thinking.

Instead, I’d like to advise that you embrace an old Latin phrase, Festina Lente, which says that your body and actions should be swift, but your thoughts should be at an elegant, appropriate pace.

This takes the thoughtlessness and blind impulsiveness out of speed, and translates it into something healthier: skillful quickness. Or in other words, to “hurry slowly”.

And here are three ways in which you can do just that:

1. SLOW DOWN WHEN MAKING A DECISION.

Far too frequently, we rush products to market without considering whether we’re still on the correct track or whether the world in which we operate has changed since the brief was written.

The key to delayed innovation is to make time in your process to halt and reflect on changing circumstances. You may do this by redefining governance as a moment to question thinking rather than to deliver progress reports or “sell in” ideas.

2. SLOW DOWN FOR SYSTEM-WIDE THINKING

Most of the time, slowing down is an efficient way for thinking outside the box. This could happen in such many ways and also one of the reason why it can be a bad innovation when taking decisions and further steps.

In this process, slowing down innovation makes a clearer way to develop the business itself and to manage everything at one.

3. SLOW DOWN TO THINK MORE PROACTIVELY

There are many types of being proactive in innovating a business. It could be in such exciting way where everything gets excited with higher expectations but to results went down, and also some business could think more proactive but slowing down the innovation to have the precision in having a develiopment.

HOW TO DECELERATE

Sure, you may be thinking, well my company can’t go any slower when it comes to innovating. It’s the execution part of the journey where companies are usually going too slow. Rather than taking the time to do their due diligence in the upfront innovation process, they often jump straight into ‘solutioning’. This involves investing lots of money and resources into market research to reinforce business-first thinking.

Instead, I’d like to advise that you embrace an old Latin phrase, Festina Lente, which says that your body and actions should be swift, but your thoughts should be at an elegant, appropriate pace.

This takes the thoughtlessness and blind impulsiveness out of speed, and translates it into something healthier: skillful quickness. Or in other words, to “hurry slowly”.

And here are three ways in which you can do just that:

1. SLOW DOWN WHEN MAKING A DECISION.

Far too frequently, we rush products to market without considering whether we’re still on the correct track or whether the world in which we operate has changed since the brief was written.

The key to delayed innovation is to make time in your process to halt and reflect on changing circumstances. You may do this by redefining governance as a moment to question thinking rather than to deliver progress reports or “sell in” ideas.

2. SLOW DOWN FOR SYSTEM-WIDE THINKING

3. SLOW DOWN TO THINK MORE PROACTIVELY

Now that you’ve learned a little bit about deceleration, I encourage you to put it into practice for yourself, because we could all use a little slowing down in this fast-paced world. It is all about harmonizing Type 1 Thinking (intuition) with Type 2 Thinking (logic, analytics, and rigor). This will make you less prone to error, less reactive, and less emotionally prejudiced against new innovation, thus increasing your capacity to execute more swiftly.

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