Here’s how I keep track of the seasons:
- Fall – beach bag comes out of the back of the van
- Winter – ski bags go in the van
- Early spring – ski gear comes out of the van; lacrosse gear goes in the van
- Late spring – baseball gear is piled on top of the lacrosse gear
- Early summer – lacrosse gear comes out; beach bag goes in…
And so the seasons pass. We’re in the midst of lacrosse right now which means I measure the weeks by games, practices, and when I need to have all the gear washed and ready for its next defilement. If I didn’t keep track, I wouldn’t know where I was most of the time.
In your business, you need reminders to track how you’re playing the game that is change. Like a parent carpool, change starts with knowing where you are, where you want to go, and when you need to be there. My suggestions for keeping yourself sane?
- Get a seat with a good view. In lacrosse, particularly, it’s the only way I have a hope of knowing what’s going on. Get a set of data – numbers and facts – that represent where you’re starting, that is, what your business situation is right now. Make sure they will be easily and regularly accessible.
- Keep your eye on the goal. Have a clear vision of where you want to be. Share it with those who will be participating with you so you’re all working toward the same outcome.
- Watch the score. You don’t want to get to the end of the game and realize you were behind the whole time. Periodically measure yourself against the data you gathered in step 1 to see if you’re making progress. If you’re not, find out why not and change your gameplan.
- Move at the proper pace. OK, I’m mixing my analogies here, but you wouldn’t ask a kid to go down a ski hill that is clearly too steep. Their inability to control their movement as they pick up speed could be a disaster. Same in business – move too fast and your vulnerabilities may become liabilities.
And finally, make sure others who will feel the impact of change have the tools and skills they need to foster your success and theirs. You wouldn’t ask your growing kids to play in last year’s gear, would you? (At least not for very long.)
What’s the hardest thing about change? Post your comments or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org – if I use them, I’ll feature your business.