“Time is of the essence”

How many times have you read that in an email, a contract or other missive ?

From research it appears normal to expect that of others  – suppliers for example – but how often do we expect that of our own organisations ? Hand on heart, have you ever ‘kicked something into the long grass’ ? Prevaricated when asked simple questions ? Procrastinated when a quick decision could have been made ?

Is there someone in your business, one of those people who needs to sign and approve things, who is well known for delaying the operational inevitable ? Do you even know how long it takes to get things done in your own company ? If you are the director of an organisation with over 200 people in it, I would say not all the time. Over 500 people ? Seldom.

I recall a multi national engineering contractor who would spend many hundreds of thousand of pounds employing expeditors to chase suppliers all over the world for various deliverables – design, drawings, shipping dates etc – but they had no idea of how long things would take to get done in their own company. Of the cost of internal delay and disruption.

A suggestion. At your next management meeting, ask the following question:

“How long does it take to get things done around here?”

Let me know what answers you get.