This week’s focus: As part of a new book that I’m writing for publication next year, I have been looking at why there is such a difference between those companies that are fast, agile and able to rapidly exploit new opportunities in their market, and those that are slow, defensive and fail to achieve their goals.

Size, organisation and structural inertias all play a part. But one factor clearly drives a company’s speed more than any other: the attitude, behaviours and focus of its leaders. It is the leadership team, and the CEO in particular, that sets the pace of any organisation. Indeed, organisational factors are only addressed when the CEO and his/her executive colleagues view the need for pace as critical.

What behaviours do you demonstrate, day-in and day-out, to help your people have the confidence to make faster decisions, take faster actions and innovate more rapidly?

Off the record: Speed Of Sound by Coldplay

How long am I going to stand

With my head stuck under the sand?

I’ll start before I can stop

Before I see things the right way up.

© Stuart Cross 2013. All rights reserved.