The speed of business or the speed of life isn't any faster than it used to be. What's accelerated is the speed of change. Stuff is new and different faster than it used to be. And if we're not able to keep up, we'll get left behind. I've been watching a lot of Disney cartoons lately with my daughter. While Finding Nemo was on the other day, I was enchanted by the East Australian Current, that mass of water that ultimately lets Marlin and Dory get to where Nemo is. The current moves fast. Hopping in and out is dangerous. But, once you're in and adjust to the speed, you can go anywhere.
Businesses that succeed today don't just move fast, though. They change fast. They explore new ideas and products quickly. They fail rapidly, learn even more rapidly, and try again most rapidly of all. As Rupert Murdoch says:
The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow.
This is why Netflix and Redbox can shake up an entire industry. Why Pinterest grows hot. How Apple keeps winning. Some of these companies are big. But they're all fast.
How fast is your company? It's important that you get to market quickly or start a trend. But it's even more important that you stop that trend or get to market quickly again once tastes, economics, or technology change. If you can change quickly, you'll be poised to succeed for a very long time.
Case in point: Starbucks. Check out why their CEO thinks they'll keep growing:
It's about behavior.
So, how are you acting? Are you nimble enough to go with the flow of change?