So what is FAST?
FAST all came about when I was coaching a client, and I asked him what were his strengths, those things that made him different from his peers.
He looked at me and he said “I don’t know, what are yours.”
I thought about if for a minute, and was just about to reel off the standard honesty, reliability, open, etc., when it occurred to me that those weren’t really the reasons I had been successful. Yes they are part of who I am, but not why I had been able to drive complex change programs to successful completion, or turnaround failing projects and under performing departments. So I too had to say I didn’t know.
I spent several weeks thinking about this, wondering what were they keys to the successes that I had. Was there a repeatable process that I had been following instinctively, one which if I could decode it, then I could share with others to help them become successful too.
I started to go back over the successful projects I’d worked on and looked for patterns.
What I found was that all of initiatives I had been brought in to turnaround had all been failing for one of the following reasons. A lack of Focus, a lack of Accountability, a lack of Simplicity (overly complex), a lack of Transparency and often they were failing because of a combinations of these things.
I realized that there was a process that I went through repeatedly.
First, I would check to make sure that the goal(s) were clear, that they were aligned with the overall objective, and that they were going to deliver the right results.
Had they been communicated clearly and did everyone understand them.
Second I would look at the organizational set up, did everyone know what they were supposed to be doing, did they know what was expected of them, and did the have the right skills tools and training to be successful.
Thirdly I would review the approach, was the solution the simplest available, was it easy to understand, and was it believable. Teams become inspired when they have plans they believe in, but when we over complicate things, it leads to doubt, hesitation and often failure.
Lastly, I would look at the progress tracking. How easy was it to check that progress was being made, and was it outcome based rather than just recording effort spent. Was it accurate and fact based, or just based on gut feel. How often was it shared with the teams, and did they know how they were doing, or were they just running blind.
On every initiative I worked on, just fixing these four things had a profound impact on the overall performance and the outcome, often leading to outstanding results.
Improving Focus and Accountability increased effectiveness, increasing Simplicity and Transparency increased efficiency, and when teams become more effective and more efficient it transforms performance both rapidly and sustainably.
I then started to study failures: project failures; business failures; product launch failures; all types of failure, and sure enough in 95% of the cases they followed this same pattern a lack of Focus, Accountability, Simplicity and/or Transparency.
It didn’t matter whether it was a large corporation or a solopreneur, whether it was
Billion-dollar project or a $100k projects, the reasons for failure were always the same, poor Focus, Accountability, simplicity or Transparency.
This is how FAST was born.
FAST is a repeatable process that anyone can learn, use and master.
It will help you to avoid the common causes of failure, improve your performance and drive results that you desire.
I have used FAST to deliver $100m projects, turnaround underperforming departments, I have trained entrepreneurs to use it and helped them triple revenue in just one year, by improving their Focus and increasing Simplicity.
I have even used it to achieve personal goals like running my first marathon at 52 (I’ve now run 10 even though I had no running background), writing a 1000 leadership articles, building an online following of 1/2 million, and becoming a Top 100 Leadership Expert in just three years.
FAST is a powerful tool that helps you create the Routines of Success, which will help you achieve amazing goals.
FAST has some amazing benefits too, because of the Focus and Simplicity it helps build engaged and inspired teams, and with Accountability it gives them the tools they need to become empowered.
Imaging what you achieve with an engaged inspired empowered team.