Boeing’s Velocity Crisis: When Speed Trumps Quality

Published on April 25, 2024

In today’s world, the pressure to quickly deliver innovative solutions can sometimes lead to unintended consequences. Just ask Boeing.

Its recent spate of mishaps is causing it a lot of problems. From increased regulatory pressures to safety concerns to customers, fliers, like me, worrying whether or not the Boeing plane they’re on is actually going to get to where they want to go.

For example, remember the door plug that fell off the plane in midair? How would you like to sit in that seat and suddenly stare into thin air? Or the 737 fiasco that forced Boeing to ground the entire fleet of that model airplane?

Listen, we all have competitive pressures. But in the end, you have to remember that velocity is not about speed alone. Velocity is about speed with direction. Boeing lost its direction. It actually changed its direction from emphasizing quality to speed, from emphasizing engineering high-quality products to getting stuff out the door as fast as possible.

When it changed its direction, it had unintended consequences. Now it is behind the eight ball. It is struggling to regain its brand reputation.

Listen, you can cut corners to try and get some speed in your life. But that’s only going to be for short-term gain. If you cut corners, you can count on the fact that, at some point, you will lose long-term velocity.

What’s your take on the balance between innovation and quality in today’s fast-paced world? Share your thoughts in comments below!

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