This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

March 10, 1999

Velocity of Life

Have you noticed how your life is speeding up? Probably not. The change is subtle.

There's an old proverb about a frog in boiling water. As the story goes, if you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will leap right out! The frog doesn't want to be in that hot environment. However, if you plop the frog into a pot of room temperature water and gradually turn up the heat, you can boil the frog alive. (We don't recommend you try this at home!)

Distasteful as that parable may be, it illustrates an important point. When change is introduced slowly, we adjust to it much more easily than if a major change is thrust upon us all at once. The moral is that people accept change better if it takes place progressively. Right or wrong, we adapt.

Over the past few years, our lives have changedłalmost imperceptibly. Everything seems to be moving faster. There's less time available . . . and more to do. Messages we used to send by mail, for delivery days later, are now sent overnight for 8:00 a.m. deliveryłor sent electronically in seconds. Project deadlines have been shortened to the point that we hardly have time to make careful decisions.

A recent study by Copernicus: The Marketing Investment Strategy Group and Gazelle International, suggests that executivesłparticularly menłmake decisions too quickly. The 293 marketing managers surveyed, said male marketing executives make decisions quickly (89 percent), are focused on short-term versus long-term results (73 percent) and are always in a rush 65 percent). These results are a symptom of a deeper problem.

Although female executives face the same challenges as their male counterparts, they're not perceivedłin this study, anywayłas being as "testosterone-rushed" as men. Women are also making decisions faster now than they did a few years ago. Faster decision-making means decisions are not as well thought-out as they should be. There's a serious risk here.

Be aware. Slow down. Take time to make the right decisions. Your results will reflect your moderation.

© Copyright 1998- by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3548 or To sign up, visit The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."

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