Slow Down to Speed Up… Why is this Important?

In our last blog I wrote about “slowing down to speed up,” with an analogy of Gary Kubiak and the Denver Broncos Super Bowl Champs. Now I want to share with you how we came up with this principle from our studies on some of the latest research in human behavior. We would like to see if you believe what we believe, or not, and start a dialogue…

Living in this fast-paced human world of technological innovation and disruption, we figured that studying Neuroscience and Behavioral Economics was a good starting point for our research into how people think, feel, act, and make decisions. With the usage of fMRI technology in neuroscience, the body of knowledge about the brain has grown exponentially. Before this technological innovation, scientists could only study the brain forensically or through observed behaviors of people living with brain damage. Although this was useful, it pales in comparison to the visibility that fMRI provides…. Being able to watch brain activity as someone makes decisions, feels emotions, and reacts to stimuli. We now know specifically what part of the brain lights up and when. We know where and how people make decisions. And we know when the faster subconscious brain takes over vs. the slower conscious brain. We know that sometimes these automatic reactions – fight or flight – that are Superhighways in our brains, due to how we have developed over the years, can help us and sometimes hurt us.

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7 Leadership Traits for the 21st Century

For our recently released book, The Art of the Nudge, we studied the latest research on leadership, communication, neuroscience, and behavioral economics, while working actively with all types of leadership teams. As a result, we stumbled upon some startling and counterintuitive ideas on the brain and how people make decisions, as well as discovered much evidence for two macro trends affecting our economic society today:

The fast pace of technological change with digital/social/mobile, cloud computing, big data, and IOT.
The inter-generational change in the workforce. Baby boomers are retiring in staggering numbers and tech-savvy millennials are the new largest cohort.
We think these trends and new discoveries have implications for leading in today’s world of digital disruption and transformation. But what is leadership? We like to define it with the following statement: “A leader is someone who gets things done with other people. He/she creates an environment that makes people want to perform better. Simply put: Look behind you, if there are followers, you are a leader.”

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Why is Alignment so Important in Today’s Digital World?

Sometimes hearing stories of other’s struggles causes us to reflect, think, and learn something new. So, I thought I would tell you a true story about two business executives who were not at all aligned…

An old colleague of mine, Bill, a CMO, called the other day to discuss a terrible struggle he was facing in his current company. Bill joined a fast growing SAAS software company over a year ago. The company experienced exponential growth over the previous five years but had begun to slow down. Two major competitors had released innovative global solutions. These competitors were now taking market share in both large enterprise deals and smaller deals. Bill’s company knew this possibility was coming and they were close to releasing their own completely renovated product that would certainly match competition. However, the testing was taking longer than anticipated, creating tension between sales and development.

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Is Trust Still Important and Does Upholding Commitments Matter in This Fast-Paced Digital World?

The world of digital disruption, ubiquitous communication, and generational shifts in the workforce is changing everything. People are moving faster; they are always “on” and bombarded by inputs from social/digital media. Our customers tell us that the negative effects of these great communication technologies are constant feelings of pressure and stress with shifting priorities. They often do not have enough time in the day to accomplish high priority items. The result: work longer hours to catch up or leave feeling crushed by the pressures of work. They have too much to do and feel frustrated. If you are not among this group, congratulations.

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“Slow Down to Speed Up.” Really? This could not have happened in the Super Bowl, you say?

In our book, The Art of the Nudge, we share that all of us will be more successful and effective in our lives if we “slow down to speed up.” We believe that this principle of slowing down to speed up is particularly important in today’s fast-paced and harried society – a social, digital world bombarded by mobile inputs. Because we are “always on,” it can feel like we are just reacting to the next thing that comes our way.

Does this happen often? Does this happen to everyone? Does this matter?

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