06 May Putting Time On Your Side
I’ve just been running some work sessions with a client’s senior leadership team and line managers, in the midst of an important change for their business. And on the way to the sessions, I found myself thinking about vectors.
Watching the flight path map, on the little seatback screen, I saw that for the first part of our journey we seemed to be flying not directly towards our destination, but towards a point several hundred kilometres further up the coast – perhaps to avoid a bad weather patch. Then, about 15 minutes into the flight, I saw our pilot make one small adjustment to the angle of our path, to put us on track. No big swings, thank goodness. Just a little change to the vector of our flight, when we still had several hundred kilometres to fly, was enough to ensure we landed at our destination.
So during the leader sessions, we talked about how small shifts are enough to make big change, as long as you sustain them:
- Making the effort to recognise one member of your team every week, with a concrete example of how they delivered on your agreed service standards, will transform that team’s behaviours – IF you keep it up for six months.
- Sharing articles about your market or passing on insights from your conversations with customers will create a more customer-centric team – IF you do it at least once a month for a year.
- Asking the team what more you could have done this past week/month to deliver on your values will make those values feel real to staff – IF you do it at every weekly/monthly team meeting, for at least 12 meetings in a row.
The best way to get fit is to add a little more exercise each week. The best way to shape a new culture is to commit to a program of small changes, over a long period of time.
Because time happens. Whatever we do, whatever choices we make, time keeps flowing in the same direction. A day passes, a week, a month. Then we’ll look around and say, ‘how can a year have gone by already’? All we can do is keep ourselves pointed in the right direction.