(coauthored by John Rymer)

The top priority for Forrester’s C-suite Leadership Boards? Faster responses to customer issues and opportunities. Technology and marketing teams have raised their software delivery speeds but are slowed by other parts of the organization that decide and act more slowly.

In the digital era, the first firm to grasp an opportunity has the best chance of capturing the lion’s share of the revenue that the opportunity makes possible. The firm with the best ability to act on threats and opportunities and discard tactics that don’t work has the best chance of winning.

Thus, speed should be a new, key companywide goal (and metric) for responding to the market by:

      • Identifying and prioritizing threats and opportunities.
      • Planning and executing new and changed strategies and investments.
      • Retiring and divesting obsolete tactics and operations.

This means that speeding up business insights, decisions, and actions — a fundamental organizational change — is the key leadership challenge of today.

If you agree that speed needs to be a priority and have taken steps to drive toward these organizational and metrics changes, we’d love to hear what practices are working for your organization. Our key questions:

        • Is the hypothesis right/do you agree?
              • Tell us more about your situation.
        • Do you agree that speed is increasing in your company/market/industry? What are the key drivers?
        • To what extent is this concept crucial to your company’s success today and your future?
        • Which parts of your organization are able to act quickly to meet a threat or capture an opportunity? Why?
        • What can we learn from departments that have increased their speed?
        • Which departments are your biggest barriers to business adaptability today, and why?
        • What are the mechanisms that have resulted in good collaboration with speed-oriented departments?
            • Why are those mechanisms not effective with teams that have struggled or failed at shifting their speed?
        • Who in the company can solve your speed issue? The CIO, CEO, CMO, CFO? Others?
        • Are there practices, techniques, org structures, tools, or anything else that we can apply more broadly within the organization to increase its overall speed?

Please let us know if you are open to sharing your moves and organizational methodologies and how they have driven adaptive gains. For scheduling, please reach out to our research associate, Audrey Hecht, at ahecht@forrester.com.

C-suite teams that pull off these changes drive their teams to become adaptive organizations — a topic we’ll be covering at the Digital Transformation & Innovation 2019 Forum in May in Chicago.