How often have you been in a meeting with people where you know that a decision must be made quickly? People at the table have a conversation and a decision is seemingly made; however, when it comes to the execution of that decision, often there is a lack of buy-in and commitment. People rehash conversations and need to go back to get more information. While the need for speed drove the initial decision-making process, something in the discussion was missing. There was an ingredient that did not allow for speed.
More and more organizations are making decisions quickly. Given the challenges of today’s marketplace, they have to. So the question becomes, how do individuals and teams operate at the speed that they need? In order to achieve the speed that is needed, there are two conditions that must be met first: trust and interaction.
Trust is critical to operating at the speed needed and still having individuals and teams do their best work. Having a foundation of trust between and among people, functions and groups is crucial. You have to trust that your partners and peers will do what they say they are going to do and follow through on what they have committed to. You have to trust others’ motivations and information to be able to move ahead with decisions that need to be made.
The fundamental way to get that trust is through interaction. This means slowing down to speed up and taking the time to really know each other and understand what is important to each other. It is critical that we each know what the other person needs to do his or her best work and what is important to him or her when building a partnership. In order for that to happen, you need to know that your partners know who you are; will listen to you; and will respect you, and they need to know the same about you. Your partners need to feel included and feel safe to say what they need to say to you. It’s a foundational building block to generating that trust that leads to enabling speed.
Sometimes organizations or teams try to go directly to speed and miss what is foundational. However, in order to be successful, the underlying foundations of interaction and trust are necessary. You can’t skip steps and expect the same results. Without trust through interaction, the team will be wasting time and resources. Trying to go fast without the foundation often means team members have to do things over or they make mistakes because they were afraid to speak up. They might not feel safe to question or challenge what was being said or to present another point of view. Almost every team can go faster and meet the need for speed, but only when built on the foundations of trust and interaction.