On Response Time

FUNDAMENTAL 20 – Be a Fanatic About Response Time

There are very few things that impress people as much as speedy response. Some items can turn around very quickly but others take some time to develop. In either case, we can still focus on our responsiveness – it just takes a different form. Here are some ideas on how we can create more buzz from response time:

  • Instant – If we get a request and it will take less than 2 minutes to do it, we should do it right away. Author David Allen in his book Getting Things Done says 2 minutes is the efficiency cutoff. If it will take longer than two minutes, we should put the item in our tracking system. Tracking the item will take longer than 2 minutes. By doing it right away we actually save time in the long run.
  • Constant – Being a fanatic about responsiveness means that it is always in the back of our mind. When team members and clients make requests of us, we can establish a habit of being responsive. This is another way to build trust – a critical ingredient of our relationship with our clients and with each other.
  • Conversant – When we rely on someone else to do something that takes a while, we need to hear from them occasionally to let us know what the status is. There is a reason we include an “Old Business” item on board agendas or have staff check-ins on items we’re working on. Whoever is trusting us needs to know we are still hard at work. We can offer those updates before they have a chance to ask and keep them “in the loop” – that is another form of responsiveness.

Thanks for everything you do to demonstrate responsiveness to our clients and the team!