Speed to market as a competitive point of difference

Product and service life cycles are becoming shorter and shorter, a financial service product life cycle is 6 weeks in the banking sector. The blue print of new car models are in Chinese factories within weeks of them exiting the production line.

In a marketplace where you can be copied in a nano second, how does your business stay competitive?

Speed to market, the ability of your business to get its next idea into action is the key to competitive advantage. The driver of sustainable speed to market is execution and driving execution is a high performance culture.

Execution, the business of getting things done is about inner resources of your team

So what are the ingredients to create a high performance culture?

Trust is critical, being made up of:

transparency (I can see  the logic behind your decisions and actions)

intimacy (emotional honesty of those in a team)

common purpose (people are unified in their belief in a common goal)

reliable behaviours (you are walking your talk)

Execution is also impacted by emotional engagement…team members need to ask “how is the execution of the new idea fulfilling my sense of purpose in the word?”

Perception, what stories do individuals tell themselves about the execution?

Realisim, how grounded in reality are the goals?

Credibility, how much do people believe in the execution and do they believe they will reach the desired outcome?

Accountability of individuals, do individuals feel responsible, can they see their role in the desired outcome?

So ultimately, speed to market is made up of an individual’s internal resources more than the faster, quicker, harder, rat on a treadmill.

In a global market, those easy to replicate tasks will be ones that are sent to the “cheapest place of production” while more complex tasks, requiring a high performance culture will be the attributes that allow a business to remain competitive for the long term.

Louise Kelly

Managing Director

Hearts and Minds


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