In business, there's a speed difference: It's the difference between how important a firm's leaders say speed is to their competitive(竞争的) strategy(策略) and how fast the company actually moves.The difference is important regardless of industry and company size. Companies fearful of losing their competitive advantage spend much time and money looking for ways to pick up the speed.
In our study of 343 businesses, the companies that chose to go, go, go to try to gain_an_edge ended up with lower sales and operating incomes than those that paused at key moments to make sure they were on the right track.What's more, the firms that “slowed down to speed up” improved their top and bottom lines, averaging 40% higher sales and 52% higher operating incomes over a three-year period.
How did they disobey the laws of business physics, taking more time than competitors yet performing better? They thought differently about what “slower” and “faster” mean.Firms sometimes fail to understand the difference between operational speed (moving quickly) and strategic speed (reducing the time it takes to deliver value)．Simply increasing the speed of production, for example, may be one way to try to reduce the speed difference.But that often leads to reduced value over time, in the form of lower-quality products and services.
In our study, higher-performing companies with strategic speed always made changes when necessary. They became more open to ideas and discussion.They encouraged new ways of thinking.And they allowed time to look back and learn.By contrast (相比而言), performance suffered at firms that moved fast all the time, paid too much attention to improving efficiency, stuck to tested methods, didn't develop team spirit among their employees, and had little time thinking about changes.
Strategic speed serves as a kind of leadership.Teams that regularly take time to get things right, rather than plough ahead full bore, are more successful in meeting their business goals.That kind of strategy must come from the top.
1．What does the underlined part “gain an edge” in Paragraph 2 mean?
A．Increase the speed.
B．Get an advantage.
C．Reach the limit.
D．Set a goal.
2．The underlined part “the laws of business physics” in Paragraph 3 means ________.
A．spending more time and performing worse
B．spending more time and performing better
C．spending less time and performing worse
D．spending less time and performing better
3．What can we learn from the text?
A．How fast a firm moves depends on how big it is.
B．How competitive a firm is depends on what it produces.
C．Firms guided by strategic speed take time to make necessary changes.
D．Firms guided by operational speed take time to develop necessary team spirit.
4．Which could be the best title for the text?
A．Improve quality? Serve better.
B．Deliver value? Plough ahead.
C．Reduce time? Move faster.
D．Need speed? Slow down.
1.B 词义猜测题。许多公司都想选择提速来获取优势，而不是达到极限或设定目标，故get an advantage正确。
3.C 推理判断题。文章主要讲述了strategic speed的重要性，且在文中第四段第一句也说明了这一点：运用策略速度的公司往往在必要时作出改变。故选C项。
4．D 主旨大意题。文章围绕speed 展开，且区分了operational speed 与 strategic speed，强调了后者的重要性，故D项正确。