Speed-to-market isn’t easy to achieve. Especially today. Everyone today is being asked to do more with less. Everyone is adding new priorities to their already long list of responsibilities.

So how, in that environment, can you be expected to bring a new product to market faster than ever before? How can you not expect your employees to see that challenge as an impossible task given their current workloads?

One thing we’ve found that makes a huge difference in getting new products to market faster is properly framing the context of possibility. That means making sure that those involved in the development process know what bringing a new product to market will make possible for their company, for their customers, for their colleagues, and for themselves.

Clearly explain the benefits

This is what leaders must do: They must clearly explain what the new product will do for the organization and why getting it to market as fast as possible matters — to everyone. The possibilities may be financial. Or, they may be about getting a “first-to-market” advantage on a truly revolutionary product.

Regardless, everyone in the organization has to be able to envision a positive outcome. That’s what makes people want to add priorities to those long lists.

And, yes, that’s hard, too. But not impossible. Think of it like this: Athletes do it all the time, especially in team sports.

Walk into a football team’s locker room 30 minutes before kickoff and you’ll see players with their eyes closed. They’re visualizing the contest to come.

Specifically, they’re thinking through the team’s strategy. And more specifically, they’re thinking through their own particular part of that strategy. What will they do when it is third down and long? How fast will they need to move when the ball comes their way? And how will they feel when the game is over and the team has won? That’s understanding the context of possibility.

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