Hi Leader,

In my Learning Big Bang and then in Your Window of Opportunity, I shared with you how I discovered and developed the 'opportunity window' insight. Opportunities come through windows. Your window of opportunity, and how you respond to it, define where you get to play and the outcomes you experience.

Today we focus on what is arguably the most prevalent blind spot in strategy deployment, a critical factor that often is the difference between success and failure.

We've realized that most opportunities have expiration dates. This fact frames the premise of our focus today on the takeoff velocity.

Takeoff Velocity

Incremental steps will not get you where you need to go. You cannot take off with a quarter or even half throttle.

Momentum is the defining factor. Takeoff velocity is everything. And for NASA, escape velocity is everything. That's right. Accelerating your momentum to develop takeoff velocity and then escape velocity is everything as you work to create a new future.

Obviously, this insight goes back to my Air Force experience: your runway is your takeoff window. You must develop enough velocity for takeoff before you run out of runway.

Velocity creates lift. No velocity, no lift. If you use up the runway to accelerate but fail to reach the critical takeoff velocity, you crash at the end of the runway.

At that point, the choice is not whether or not to take off. The choice is to take off or die. I believe there are moments in life and in business where either you takeoff or you crash.

How do you build momentum to develop the necessary takeoff velocity to create the future of your organization?

Here are five velocity engines:

  1. Clarity of focus. Define clearly what problem you are working to solve.
  2. Simplicity. Make the complex simple. Eliminate non-essential elements and features.
  3. Discipline. Routinize inputs and protocol. Free up creative and innovating energy for well-defined opportunities.
  4. Agility. Build adaptability and flexibility into the culture. Learn from agile systems. Demonstrate and celebrate agility.
  5. Future prototype. Prototype the future solution. Work from the desired future state backward, and eliminate unnecessary steps.

Now it’s your turn. Turn the key. Bring forward clarity, simplicity, discipline, agility and solution prototype to create takeoff velocity.

© Aviv Shahar