Family businesses need tempo. Generational businesses have a rhythm a pace and often need an allegro fast, quickly, bright .
Tempo is defined as rate of pace. In music Tempo is is the speed or pace of a given piece. Going too fast or too slow is referred to as “rushing and dragging.”
In Chess tempo is the gaining or losing of time and effectiveness relative to one’s continued mobility or developing position, especially with respect to the number of moves required to gain an objective.
Tempo = Speed Consistently Over Time
Family business gets their turn, their opportunity to capture the initiative. In chess a single move is your “turn”. Complacent small businesses lose tempo, or drag.
The Department of Defense uses tempo metrics to measure troops and equipment. Optempo is their measure of equipment use, driving hours, flying hour etc. This is critical to supply and understanding preventive maintenance schedules need to be adjusted. The Optempo increases with the intensity of and number of operations.
Prestempo is the time an individual spends away from home station. Each service measures somewhat differently. Optempo and Perstempo seem the same because they often rise and fall together, but they don’t have to. Building up for Desert Storm, during the Desert Shield phase Prestempo was rising while Optempo was fairly steady.
Generational business, family firms should consider, examines the status quo, even if they are successful. “He who neglects what is done for what ought to be done, sooner affects his ruin than his preservation.”
Tempo for leaders is the ability to set the course. Tempo is not the same as speed. Some teams are able to execute one task quickly but then there’s a stay before the next high speed task. This results in a sluggish tempo. Leaders in music, in chess, in family businesses use tempo to achieve their goals. Tempo is part of a good strategy. Some of the best leaders, organizations use tempo and their team smaller unit commanders to drive to the tempo, “Trust the leader in the room.”
There is a difference between pace, cadence and tempo. “It is even better to act quickly and err than to hesitate until the time of action is past.” In 1832, his widow published the unfinished text “On War” Carl von Clausewitz, the Prussian General and author, often quoted; more often misquoted. Wrote, It’s better to act…” One of the principles of today’s US Marines is “Aim for a 70% solution. It’s better to decide quickly on imperfect plan then roll out a perfect plan when it’s too late.”
Tempo in Family Business is important. They need conduct their process so it neither rushes nor drags. Family businesses need to use tempo to gain gaining effectiveness and mobility.