During my vacation, I’ve had time to think about change. Looking back on the previous year, I have seen colleagues make career changes and move to new parts of the country. Also, companies that I do business for, large and small, have already made strategic changes into specialized markets.

A sense of urgency is everywhere, in the political arena, financial markets, and on social media. What appears to be happening is a collective result of our accelerated rate of change. The call to action is upon us, before we fall or fail, far less than what we are capable of.

As news, company stories and debated issues are shared over the social networks in nanoseconds, it is easier to see new opportunities emerging. What we need is an activation system to make new strategies work, particularly resources to manage new products, services, or market areas.

So how do you give up any “wait and see” approach and design your initiatives in step with this accelerated rate of change? Put your marketing strategies on deadline.

The recognized authority on leadership and change, John P. Kotter outlined the design and implementation of eight accelerators for game changing results. In a published report, Accelerate! on Harvard Business Review, Kotter said:

“Strategy should be viewed as a dynamic force that constantly seeks opportunities, identifies initiatives that will capitalize on them, and completes those initiatives swiftly and efficiently.”

Kotter advocates a dynamic approach to change through a dual network system: a traditional hierarchy organization and a guided coalition of change agents. While change is often slow in hierarchy organizations, a new network system that can rapidly guide decisions and implement change is needed.

Sports teams are a good lesson in accelerating change. I love the game of basketball and often hear NBA players talk about a “system”, especially what it means to be in the game. Team members are tasked to fine tune changes at any given moment that can make or break a game or even a season’s championship.

Put your team and yourself on deadline to implement new strategies, before the buzzer ends the game.

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