“The future is both fast and slow – and you need to adjust your speed!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
That’s a bit of a conundrum, isn’t it? Yet it’s probably one of the most challenging and realistic things about the future today. What are you doing to balance the need to align to fast pace trends, at the same time that you must manage the slow and steady progress and actions that are needed for excellence?
The photo is from my keynote for the Think Transit conference in Nashville back in May – I’m speaking to 1,000 people in the urban transit industry. Buses, subways and more.
Their challenge with ‘fast and slow’ is very real. Elon Musk talks of the imminent arrival of the transit ‘hyperloop’, making a case to the to the public that it is relatively easy to put in place a sophisticated, fast, relatively low cost 21st century transit system!
At the same time, these transit executives must manage one of the most ‘complicated machines’ around, with complex operational requirements, long term capital investments and planning, increasing and challenging public expectations, and an acceleration of technologies.
That’s fast and slow right there. And so while it might be easy to discount the big dreamers as embodied by Elon Musk – the fact is, he is single-handily reinventing the automative, space, and energy industry through Tesla, SpaceX and the battery GigaFactory. Why not transit?
That’s the reality that todays’ transit executive must manage. They must align their agency to a faster, more complex future which might happen faster than they think, while at the same time keeping relentlessly focused on the need for operational excellence.
What’s fast and slow in your life, your organization, and your business model? Do you have your hand on the wheel?