Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

As I write this, I’m sitting on a plane watching the sun rise over the Alps, making my way on a cool morning from Ljubljana, Slovenia, to London. It couldn’t be more peaceful. I hear Simon and Garfunkel:

“Slow down, you move too fast.

You got to make the morning last.

Just kicking down the cobblestones.

Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy.”

The sense of wanting to slow things down puts me in mind of the company I’ve been working with in Slovenia – the largest company of its kind in the country. They’re experiencing something that’s been happening a lot with large companies over the last five years or so: The pressure to publish has reached a breaking point.

Many companies feel obliged to publish content faster and faster to more and more digital channels. I hear content practitioners all the time telling me that they can’t keep up. One manager/creator of content recently told me, in tears, “I’m working weekends and nights, and I’m still getting more and more behind.”

Ironically, organizations that set their sights on pumping out more-more-faster-faster rarely put the systems and strategies in place that would enable all those pieces of content to function as business assets. As a director at the Slovenian company said, “We’re pressured to move faster, but we can’t convince management to give us the authority and to invest in change so that we can manage all that content effectively.”

We’ve been too successful in making the case for content. Now we have to make the case for slowing down and getting good at it.

This breaking point is becoming all too real for too many marketers. My last four consulting and advisory engagements haven’t touched on how to get more content out of the organization. In every case, the content well was overflowing. Our sessions focused on how to make a business case for slowing down the process of content creation. Hint: The demand side must give in somewhat.

It’s a long road ahead, folks. We’ll do well to remember that we’re not in a race. As we move forward with strategic content initiatives, we should occasionally pull our hands away from the keyboard, look out the window – what a sunrise! – and breathe.

When’s the last time you were feelin’ groovy?