If there is one defining factor in the business world today, I think the answer is speed. Being fast is mandatory to succeed in an ever-changing marketplace environment. There is a reason that Quicken Loans called its new mortgage process “Rocket.” Global events such as Brexit can impact housing finance in an instant and companies must be ready to respond accordingly.
Entire industries are undergoing radical change and which companies survive is playing out daily. Mortgage banking is no exception. While predicting upcoming shifts can be difficult, one thing is certain: failure to adjust and act quickly is a recipe for disaster. Whether it is ramping up new employees, solving customer problems or closing a loan, a lack of speed is not acceptable anymore.
Why is it that when companies attempt to achieve a better economy of scale, they tend to become slower, more complex and less focused? Is it sheer size that does larger companies in or is it something else? As it turns out, there are many reasons that larger companies lose speed and executives need to address these warning signs before it is too late.
In a great book by Chris Zook and James Allen, The Founder’s Mentality: How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth, the authors list the 10 killers of speed in organizations. They are:
1. Excess complexity
2. Energy vampires
3. Debates in committees where no person has the right to decide
4. Excessive organizational layers
5. Ambiguity concerning core principles and objectives and a lack of common instincts for how to react to competitors
6. Trapped resources in departments
7. Balkanized customer experiences with no single owner
8. Lack of once a week meeting to de-bottleneck decisions and actions, leaving conflict unresolved
9. Failure to embrace the power of repeatable models
10. Large corporate staffs endlessly initiating new activities to better inform themselves
In short, these pitfalls can suck the life out of an organization and before a company knows what has happened, they are no longer competitive. As Jack Welch famously observed, “when the rate of change inside an institution becomes slower than the rate of change outside, the end is in sight.”
What are you doing today to install a speedy culture throughout your sales organization to compete in today’s new world of mortgage origination?