We live in a world of constant consumption in which new needs are created and we are invited to action 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We have become accustomed to living with stimuli that in many cases have become a necessity to not feel empty when we feel that there is nothing to do. The vast majority of companies have adapted to this situation and have molded their offers to the chaotic agendas of a society that has too many things to do, a lot to choose from and little time.
The speed, the stress and the intensity in the activity in the businesses are possibly the viruses of which almost nobody speaks in the companies. On the other hand, the need to produce mass, and in the shortest time possible, puts at risk the quality control of many services and products, generating economic, personal and environmental costs of which there is still no complete awareness. The rush and obsession to produce does not necessarily make us more efficient, better, or happier.
Most of the entrepreneurs have been or continue to be victims of the tyranny of the passage of time. We fight in an endless race in which it seems that stopping running is losing. Perhaps we have also been able to confuse inspiration with reference. The most famous cases of startups that have grown explosively are success stories that inspire and even teach.
However, the reality is that their stories are absolute exceptions to the norm. Making them the reference is to understand that their model is replicable by anyone anywhere, something that is far from reality if we stick to the statistics of vitality and longevity of business projects. Perhaps, even admiring those companies, we should consider more those models that are cooked “on a low fire”.
Today there are initiatives in sectors as diverse as fashion, education, tourism, gastronomy or health, which have decided not to be part of this problem and are postulated as a solution through the so-called Slow Movement.
For those who are open to change, to think differently and to eliminate paradigms converted into laws, these are some concepts that can be helpful to move towards success from calm:
It is evident that we are less productive if we are not motivated, if we are exhausted, if we are stressed or sick. We know that the human being is more creative when he is calm, free of stress and pressure.
The new challenge is to ensure that television, virtual relationships or retina screens do not occupy more time than cooking, music or conversation around the table. In short, a better distribution in which all the ingredients described are positive and possibly necessary, if they are applied at the right time at the right time.
LESS IS MORE
Many of us could spend the whole day attending emails, calls and meetings. Doing less does not mean being less productive, it simply requires eliminating the surface or what is not important from our lives and work. In that way, we can stop running and reduce anxiety to concentrate on approaching excellence in our work and fullness in our lives. Sometimes “less is more” and it is possible to get “more with less”.
The quantity without quality is as dangerous as the power without control. A company that wants to grow, does it on its bases. If your base is chaotic, growth will bring more chaos. If, on the contrary, the base is quality, growth will be safer and more sustainable. Therefore, we will have to move towards a model where quality prevails over quantity, when teamwork, good management, order and control are favored.
Dress me slowly, I’m in a hurry is an excellent popular saying to understand the concept. Working with haste often makes us incur errors that will force us to repeat the work immediately in the short term, lengthening the time invested and delaying the delivery, as well as incurring unnecessary additional costs during execution. If we really want to be fast, the calm will help us to do it right the first time, getting to finish earlier, increasing savings and, therefore, customer satisfaction.
CULT TO THE DETAIL
One of the maxims should be care and passion for things well done. Caring for the detail involves directing all actions and efforts towards the satisfaction of the client in order to stay at an optimum level of competitiveness. But excellence and satisfaction only come when the clock does not guide effort and attention, when we can concentrate on one thing: do it now and do it well.
Technology and digitalization are no longer innovation, but an obligation imposed by the consumer. Although, the infinite advantages that technology brings us must not make us lose the human relationship in consumption and service.
The technology that is able to accelerate the processes while keeping the magic of the emotional connection between the seller and the buyer alive, will surely succeed.
The world of business is not just a place for buyers and sellers. It is also a world of people and emotions. What you sell does not mean you’re going to do it again. Recovering communication and listening as a fundamental element of a business (without that means moving away from innovation and technology), is the basis of sustained growth and maintenance of any company. A slow customer service will improve our reputation as professionals, and will increase a quality word of mouth that will attract more and better customers.
The slow company is committed to health and calm, but also to productivity, profitability and excellence. After all, regardless of what we do, all entrepreneurs and companies share, or should share, a common goal: make better business, be better every day, enjoy to the fullest, and offer society our best version.
To be slow is to incorporate the best that our predecessors did but in another world, that of today. And it is not easy to do it when the environment is fast and when the people around us are also fast. We all have the opportunity to show that there is a better way, at least different, so we can set an example, start the trend and become leaders of another style of doing business. A style with more music and less noise; more calm, less stress; more conscience, less madness; more result, less effort.
Fast and slow, two styles, surely necessary in their proper measure and that each entrepreneur must choose to succeed in a hare world in which the turtle can also win.