Making “Quickness” Your Business – And Personal – Goal

““Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its brevity.”” – La Bruyere (1688)

Last week, we talked about some of the things Jack Walsh did to supercharge GE’s lagging performance. Of those I mentioned, the one I like best (perhaps because it was new to me) is making “quickness” a business goal.

Every good businessperson wants to get things done as quickly as possible, but there is a big difference between pushing people to “work faster” and asking your key people to suggest ways to speed up existing processes and/or procedures. What’s smart about the latter approach is the understanding that you, as the boss, are not in the best position to know the quickest way to do everything.

Quickness improves profits in at least three ways: It reduces labor and energy costs, it eliminates inefficiencies (which have their own ancillary costs), and it improves morale and has a carryover effect on the productivity of everyone affected by it.

This is what I’m doing today: writing a memo to employees explaining how this idea works and asking for their help.

This is what you can do:

1. Write a similar memo to your employees.

2. Apply this idea to your own life. Identify the tasks you do repeatedly and figure out how you can spend less time doing them without sacrificing quality.

[Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]