When I worked at a small private college, we engaged the services of a consultant whose experience was from a large public university. He described our differences as paralleling that of a speed boat and an aircraft carrier – we could turn on a dime whereas the ship could not. Much of our time together was spent trying to leverage that advantage.

 

There are many iterations of the speed boat that are operating today as more people work as independent contractors or have a “side hustle,” and countless small businesses help to power the economy. Aircraft-carrier-esque organizations have also demonstrated remarkable agility that defies normal timelines in this time of COVID disruption, but small continues to be a coveted asset that allows for quick adaptation and change.

 

Some examples of those who have: one restaurant is now selling bread, milk and cheese along with its takeout menu; a local mattress factory has switched its operations to make filters for masks instead of bedding, and hobbyists have turned their 3D printers into ventilator-making machines. They had the ability to quickly change course and they did.

 

In a personal example, my friend’s wireless router decided to die this week and he lamented that he found himself serving as the IT department for his home/office/school. But rather than be mired in bureaucracy that a large IT or purchasing department could require, he promptly drove to the store and replaced his equipment. Problem solved.

 

If your operations have the ability to act as a speed boat, by all means, take advantage and circumvent the waves.

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