Business at the Speed of Now: Fire Up Your People, Thrill Your Customers, and Crush Your Competitors


At the start of the twenty-first century, we've witnessed a shift to a mass customization-driven economy, leaving behind a century focused on mass production. Customers have come to expect immediate and tailor-made responses to their needs, and the businesses that fail to deliver quickly fall behind. How fast does your business move? Are you doing business at the speed of NOW or trailing the pack at the speed of THEN?

Business at the Speed of Now outlines principles and ...

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Business at the Speed of Now: Fire Up Your People, Thrill Your Customers, and Crush Your Competitors

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At the start of the twenty-first century, we've witnessed a shift to a mass customization-driven economy, leaving behind a century focused on mass production. Customers have come to expect immediate and tailor-made responses to their needs, and the businesses that fail to deliver quickly fall behind. How fast does your business move? Are you doing business at the speed of NOW or trailing the pack at the speed of THEN?

Business at the Speed of Now outlines principles and practices that forward-thinking managers can use to enhance customer experience, reduce costs, and drive growth. Three major game changers have accelerated business today. Social media creates vast powerful communities by instantly connecting people inside and outside an organization. Cloud computing provides workers access to the resources they need to resolve issues the moment they arise. And the Millennial mindset demands that it all happens now. Business at the Speed of Now presents systematic advice on how to build an integrated, engaging, and transparent management system, enabled by cloud computing and internal social networks.

Use this comprehensive guide to create a NOW organization where everyone boldly pursues every opportunity every time. Through more than sixty real-world stories of success and failure, this book:

  • Demonstrates how to achieve the three goals of the NOW management system: eliminate fear, reduce variation in everything you do, and rapidly overcome constraints that inhibit progress
  • Applies speed-enabling technology to the three essential types of work: Fundamentals (routine work that consumes 95 percent of all resources), Breakthroughs (initiatives that can change the game), and Problems (daily challenges and crises that occur in all organizations)
  • Provides a wealth of real-world examples, assessments, tools, guidelines, and checklists that enable readers to apply the concepts immediately
  • Offers practical tools for building account ability and transparency into every position, thereby eliminating the loose ends that so often cause business execution to stumble

Set your organization free from the old THEN management ways that no longer get the results you need. Adopt the new NOW management thinking and the state-of-the-art tools that will get your organization doing business at the speed of now.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118054017
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/6/2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 711,105
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

JOHN M. BERNARD is the founder and chairman of Mass Ingenuity, a company that consults and teaches around the world and develops Web-based tools to support real-time management. His consulting work involves high-tech, service, distribution, utilities, banking, insurance, manufacturing, health care, education, and government. John is an expert on the subjects of best-practice management, social media inside the organization, and the modern workforce. His expertise has been featured in the global business media and he is a top-rated speaker for The Conference Board.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction xvii

Chapter 1 Thriving in the Now: Prepare for Yes 1

Our Love of Speed 3

The Power of Yes 4

I Want My Yes Now! 7

Social Media, Cloud Computing, and the Millennial Mind-Set 9

Mass-Customize Me, Please! 12

Enabling Your Organization’s YESability 14

The NOW Speedometer 17

Chapter 2 Making the Shift to Now: Put an End to Then21

Shifting from Then to Now 22

That Was Then, This Is Now 25

The Seven Deadly Sins of Management 28

From Declining to Improving Results 29

The Right Tools in the Right Place at the Right Time 32

From Disengaged to Engaged 33

Chapter 3 Seizing the NOW Opportunity: Drive Growth with Yes41

When You Operate in the Now 43

To Try or to Do, That Is the Question 48

The 9 Rules of Then, the 11 Rules of Now 50

Simon Says and Mother, May I? 52

Shifting Gears to the Now 54

Chapter 4 Leveraging the NOW Game Changers: Gain the SpeedYou Need 61

Satisfying the Hunger for Instant Information 62

A Cloud That Refreshes 66

The Power of Millennial Thinking 70

If You Can’t Beat ’Em, Join ’Em 74

Chapter 5 Working in the NOW Business: Create the Context forSpeed 79

Thinking in the Now 80

Management Is a System 86

Mapping the Fundamentals 92

Laying the Foundation 92

Connecting Every Employee 96

Chapter 6 Working on the NOW Business: Achieve CriticalBreakthroughs 99

The Source of Breakthroughs 100

Creating the Skill to Plan at All Levels 103

Performance Breakthroughs in Action 106

Breakthroughs in Capability 109

Sequencing, Coordinating, and Seeing 113

Chapter 7 Creating NOW Transparency: Close the Execution Gap119

Getting the Transparency Train on Track 121

Initiating Transparency with Business Reviews 127

Preparing for Target Reviews 130

Real-Time Transparency and Corrective Action 132

Chapter 8 Solving Problems Now: Equip Everyone with the CoreSkill 137

Creating the Charter 139

Step 1: Agree on the Problem 141

Step 2: Map the Process 143

Step 3: Find the Root Cause 145

Step 4: Develop Solutions 153

Step 5: Implement the Fix 154

Step 6: Hold the Gain 154

Step 7: Reflect and Learn 155

Chapter 9 Enabling the NOW Workforce: Banish Fear, BuildTrust 159

People Want to Do the Right Thing 160

Fear Blocks Initiative 162

Building a Foundation for Trust 165

Helping People Cross the Divide 167

Shifting from Permit to Expect 171

Chapter 10 Becoming a NOW Leader: Stop Bossing, StartTeaching 175

From No to Yes 177

From Disconnection to Full Engagement 179

From Know-It-All to Fellow Learner 180

From Frozen Layer to Fear Defroster 182

From Commander to Inspirational Guide 184

Creating New, Observable Behaviors 186

Tell Me a Story 191

Chapter 11 Embracing Change Now: Accelerate the Shift193

Working for the Social Good 196

Sharing a Vision of the Future 198

Engaging the Most Respected Change Leaders 201

Encouraging Personal Change 204

Reinforcing the Right Actions 207

The End of the Beginning 209

Conclusion Do It Now! 211

Guidelines for an Effective Plan 213

Appendix 215

The NOW Speedometer: Doing Business at the Speed of Now 215

About the Author 217

Index 219

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 14, 2012

    Modern businesses are grappling with a changing environment and

    Modern businesses are grappling with a changing environment and changing marketplace. Customers are demanding more and more customized products and failure to deliver can result in immediate and widespread reputation damage inflicted by social media tweets, shares, and evaluations. How do we make sense of it all and how should we respond?

    John Bernard is well equipped to answer this question. John, though his company Mass Ingenuity, has helped his clients — which have included major companies and most of the state governments in the Pacific Northwest — sort through this problem. Now, he has distilled his method with his book, Business at the Speed of Now.

    The “big shift” is characterized as a transition from mass production to mass customization. This big shift is being powered by three strong trends: rise of social media, shift toward cloud computing, and coming of age of millennials. The result is a demand for significantly shorter sense-act cycles for business and the ability for companies to treat each customer with a customized solution and personal touch. Companies that can achieve this shift will thrive, those that don’t will die.

    John describes the end result as a “system of management” and in the book describes their approach from assessment, determination of fundamentals, and discovery of breakthroughs. The book illustrates these steps with stories from his consulting experiences.

    One of the stories I liked in particular told how a company front line manager took a customer’s complaint but couldn’t act on it. The employee had to pass the complaint “up the chain” for approval of the company’s response. Although this arrived several days later, the damage to the company’s reputation for this customer was already done. In other words, don’t push the information to a decision maker, push the decision authority to the employees on the front line that already have the information.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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