Our goal at Aha! is to respond to your request as quickly as we can. Because when we do, we have the best chance of interacting with you while you are the most focused on the request at hand. We are nearly guaranteed that you will be passionate and thoughtful while your need is still fresh.
As time goes on though, you will be increasingly distracted as other activities take on greater importance and the urgency of your request will dissipate. So, when you ask us something, we know that we have a small window to serve you. We want to be useful to you right now, because we will receive value in return.
The Responsive Method is centered on the belief that interactions with urgency are what propel people and organizations forward. And in business, this approach is even more critical for startups and emerging companies because every hour matters as you try to find your way with limited resources and time to make an impact.
Historically, organizational structures and hierarchical decision trees defined how people worked. These models allowed managers to apply experience to decisions they made and ensure consistency across the company. But, they sacrificed the free-flow of information, creativity, and meaningful contributions from everyone involved. They also inherently inserted delays and inefficiency into how communications happened.
We believe that we have entered a new era where those who can process and respond to the rapid flow of information will be most rewarded — no matter their title or role. Rapid response and adaptability are now the most important skills for job and organizational success.
The Responsive Method embraces an interrupt-driven approach to communications and getting work done, but bases longer-term investments of resources on aligning requests against pre-set strategic initiatives. It is a framework for people and organizations to get the most out of today’s abundant free-flow of information while staying on track towards a goal.
The Responsive Method is built on the following pillars. They are what differentiate it from other approaches to human-focused growth.
If you are going to be interrupt-driven and respond to requests in real-time you need a way to assess the presented needs. You need to know whether you are going to invest real effort. And to do so wisely, you must establish a “goal first” approach and a true north for where you are headed. A “goal first” approach is about defining your vision and making sure everyone understands it.
Einstein said, “I have no special talent. I'm only passionately curious.” You too should be addicted to asking why and finding the answers. Curiosity is fundamental to learning and a leading indicator of success. If you are curious, you are interested and invested, so you will keep working at a problem until you solve it. At its best, work is a quest for knowledge powered by insatiable curiosity.
This is contrary to conventional wisdom, but we think that you and your company should be driven by interruptions. Most people are taught to try to tune out distractions because there are so many urgent but unimportant requests. Tuning them out is a mistake. Listen carefully to the noise so you can learn to pick out the valuable data.
You should respond to requests quickly as they come in. That’s because you cannot afford to keep revisiting them. You need to quickly analyze them as they are received and allow your “goal first” strategy to guide you. The key is to digest the information and its importance as quickly as possible so you can get on to the next one and creating more value.
Explaining the “why” makes the “what” simple to digest. This is especially important when saying “No.” The benefit to you is that if you share your assumptions and motivations and they are wrong — the other person will have a chance to help you see a better way. If you simply provide your answer, you are limiting your opportunity for growth.
People worry that being kind at work is often a sign of weakness. Nothing could be further from the truth. Being kind is good for you as it allows you to stay in control, remain humble, and maintain perspective. While it does not mean that you will always agree with everyone — it does allow you stay calm and build strong relationships.
The gaps in time between request and response frustrate everyone involved and destroy innovation. By compressing the time it takes to absorb a question and thoughtfully explain the response, we accelerate the value we create and the satisfaction we receive from our efforts.
Welcome to The Responsive Method. We think it’s the one approach you need to accelerate your personal and business growth and the value you ultimately create.