In the fast paced publishing world, speed is not just important but is essential to the success. Authors and editors are scurrying around trying to get their work completed on time to publish their content ahead of the competition. The press officer has their hands full writing up various press releases that will release at just the right time to promote their content. Every day is deadline day and the number of deadlines keep going up. As is often said, “There is never a dull moment in publishing”.
While this may sound exciting, the pressure of failing is quite telling on the teams that have to make things happen. A proofreading error, an editorial oversight or simply forgetting to click send on an email could sometimes lead to disastrous consequences. Many studies have show that anxiety, stress or lack of sleep could cause memory loss and inflammation in the brain. Long term effects include serious conditions like post traumatic stress disorders or even depression!
The organisations that succeed in this chaotic world are characterised by one word – concert! They have recognised that speed is achieved only when all the moving parts are aligned and work well together. They take the time to understand and establish the process. Much like an orchestra, each person’s role is clearly defined and the team takes precedence. They focus on their priorities and communicate effectively only when necessary. The conductor’s job is then to just to smooth out the edges and guide the team towards the stated goal.
How does one achieve this ideal state? In the middle of the chaos, it is important to slow down and take the time to understand the variables. Confusion typically occurs because the factors at play are hidden or not defined. When all the variables are clearly identified and defined, the project manager should work together with their team to build the processes and tools to manage these variables. The team then works on building a tempo, slow at first but ensuring that the gears mesh well and work at a constant speed. Once the team can trust each other, they rise in crescendo like an engine on the autobahn! Become the conductor, delight the customer, just remember to slow down and feel the road first.