4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
In Slow Down to Speed Up, Liz Bywater shares her 20 years of experience as a consultant, providing real-life examples of organizations and individuals she has helped by using the concepts and tools described in her book. Although the book is relatively short (only a little over 100 pages), it is packed with useful information for those who seek both personal and career success in our fast-moving world.
Part 1 focuses on the "slow down" component of the process. It begins by explaining the reasons for this change of pace. Then it offers a plentiful supply of questionnaires and suggestions to use in accomplishing this task. Part 2 is all about "speeding up." It delivers the tools and methods needed to build more sustainable and effective business strategies based on the insights developed in Part 1.
The amount of detailed instruction provided might seem overwhelming, but it is all carefully organized. In order to develop a plan that works, the reader must simply follow the path, answering the questions posed, filling out the worksheets, and becoming familiar with the tools. One of my favorite tools from the collection is the "Targeted E-mail Reduction System." It's simple, easy to implement, and very effective. Plus, it gives the user enormous amounts of working time that would otherwise be lost to dealing with the usual barrage of emails.
An emphasis on maintaining strong relationships with people, whether they be customers, peers, team members, or other professional contacts, is one of the most appealing features of Dr. Bywater's approach. It is critical to both slowing down and speeding up. I particularly appreciated the use of "stakeholder" as a term for all the people one might need to consider in attempting to become more successful. It favors the modern idea of teamwork rather than conventional arrangements that encourage managers to dictate to those below them in the hierarchy.
While Slow Down to Speed Up is intended for a category of people that the author calls "leaders," it can be useful to many who are not executives or managers in large corporations. Those who work freelance or run a small business, for example, could benefit from the ideas on improving their methods of planning, organizing, and prioritizing. They could also use the worksheets and lists for a variety of purposes.
This book is well written, well edited, and well organized. And despite its small size, it contains more valuable content than many books two or three times as long. With much to appreciate and nothing at all to dislike, Slow Down to Speed Up clearly deserves 4 out of 4 stars.
Slow Down to Speed Up
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon