Take a good hard look at this quote from President Obama, which I heard on this Morning Edition segment: Promised Help To Fight Ebola Arriving At ‘Speed Of A Turtle’:
“There is still a significant gap between where we are and where we need to be,” Obama said. “We know from experience that the response to an outbreak of this magnitude has to be fast, and it has to be sustained. It’s a marathon, but you have to run it like a sprint.”
There it is – “it’s a marathon, but you have to run it like a sprint.”
Though he was referring to the fight against Ebola (what a scary fight), it applies to nearly all endeavors these days.
The days of slow and leisurely seem to be pretty much over. We are now in an era of “get it done, fast…faster than that! – even over the long haul” work challenges.
This is 2014; 7 years into the iPhone era. And we are now up to the iPhone 6 version. Constantly updating! The next, next version has to be far along before they even unveil the current new version. A marathon — a sprint.
Here’s one of Gary Hamel’s five things that matter now (from the book, What Matters Now):
Innovation: successful products and strategies are quickly copied. Without relentless innovation, success is fleeting. …there’s not one company in a hundred that has made innovation everyone’s job, every day. In most organizations, innovation still happens “despite the system” rather than because of it. …innovation is the only sustainable strategy for creating long-term value.
Sounds like a marathon and a sprint all rolled up into one.
Every company, every organization feels it. A marathon, to stay viable. A sprint, to not fall behind the competition.
It’s a marathon AND a sprint. No wonder we all feel out of breath.