Archive for the ‘For goodness sake…slow down.’ Category

Here is a story that everyone of us need to read for our very own good. I won’t let the mouse of the bag. Once you get started…reading it to the end is a must. Check it out.

An interesting reflection: Slow Down Culture

It’s been 18 years since I joined Volvo, a Swedish company. Working for them
has proven to be an interesting experience. Any project here takes 2 years
to be finalized, even if the idea is simple and brilliant. It’s a rule.

Globalised processes have caused in us (all over the world) a general sense
of searching for immediate results. Therefore, we have come to possess a
need to see immediate results. This contrasts greatly with the slow
movements of the Swedish. They, on the other hand, debate, debate, debate,
hold x quantity of meetings and work with a slowdown scheme. At the end,
this always yields better results.

Said in another words:

1. Sweden is about the size of San Paulo, a state in Brazil.

2. Sweden has 2 million inhabitants.

3. Stockholm, has 500,000 people.

4. Volvo, Escania, Ericsson, Electrolux, Nokia are some of its renowned
companies. Volvo supplies the NASA.

The first time I was in Sweden, one of my colleagues picked me up at the
hotel every morning. It was September, bit cold and snowy. We would arrive
early at the company and he would park far away from the entrance (2000
employees drive their car to work). The first day, I didn’t say anything,
either the second or third. One morning I asked, “Do you have a fixed
parking space? I’ve noticed we park far from the entrance even when there
are no other cars in the lot.” To which he replied, “Since we’re here early
we’ll have time to walk, and whoever gets in late will be late and need a
place closer to the door. Don’t you think? Imagine my face.

Nowadays, there’s a movement in Europe name Slow Food. This movement
establishes that people should eat and drink slowly, with enough time to
taste their food, spend time with the family, friends, without rushing. Slow
Food is against its counterpart: the spirit of Fast Food and what it stands
for as a lifestyle. Slow Food is the basis for a bigger movement called Slow
Europe, as mentioned by Business Week.

Basically, the movement questions the sense of ‘hurry’ and ‘craziness’
generated by globalisation, fueled by the desire of “having in quantity”
(life status) versus ‘having with quality’, ‘life quality’ or the ‘quality of
being’. French people, even though they work 35 hours per week, are more
productive than Americans or British. Germans have established 28.8 hour
workweeks and have seen their productivity been driven up by 20%. This slow
attitude has brought forth the US’s attention, pupils of the fast and the
‘do it now!’

This no-rush attitude doesn’t represent doing less or having a lower
productivity. It means working and doing things with greater quality,
productivity, perfection, with attention to detail and less stress. It means
reestablishing family values, friends, free and leisure time. Taking the
‘now’, present and concrete, versus the ‘global’, undefined and anonymous.
It means taking humans’ essential values, the simplicity of living.

It stands for a less coercive work environment, more happy, lighter and more
productive where humans enjoy doing what they know best how to do. It’s time
to stop and think on how companies need to develop serious quality with
no-rush that will increase productivity and the quality of products and
services, without losing the essence of spirit.

In the movie, Scent of a Woman, there’s a scene where Al Pacino asks a girl
to dance and she replies, “I can’t, my boyfriend will be here any minute
now”. To which Al responds, “A life is lived in an instant”. Then they dance
to a tango.

Many of us live our lives running behind time, but we only reach it when we
die of a heart attack or in a car accident rushing to be on time. Others are
so anxious of living the future that they forget to live the present, which
is the only time that truly exists. We all have equal time throughout the
world. No one has more or less. The difference lies in how each one of us
does with our time. We need to live each moment. As John Lennon said, “Life
is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.

Congratulations for reading till the end of this message. There are many who
will have stopped in the middle so as not to waste time in this globalised

Yearning for more, this is another “must read” … Slow Dance.