Transition and Time
It’s at this time of year that I hear friends and relations commenting (complaining) about the winter weather – the dark mornings, the short days, the rain! Although admittedly I’m not a big fan of these, I embrace them wholeheartedly as they bring with them the upside of the winter – snow – skiing, ice climbing, skating and so on.
In business, I have found that every company experiences some element of recurring, periodic change –business ‘winter’. Whether it is the natural peaks and troughs of client buying patterns or whether it is the revenue or growth of the company is less than anticipated. How do we handle it? Personally, I have stopped praying for the impossible and have accepted that I do not live in a perfect world. I accept the real world; where customers do not buy to an identifiable pattern, where production does not dovetail perfectly with my customers purchasing schedule, where growth is slower than desired!
First what we need to do is find and accept the upside these lulls bring. For me, generally the most major benefit is time. Instead of concentrating on the day to day running of the business, I have the time to review processes and identify inefficiencies, time to exploit competitive advantages, time to plan for the next marketing strategy. We can learn to proactively anticipate these transitional times. For example, if you are a list maker, start your list now of the positive actions you will take when ‘winter’ arrives. If you are goal or KPI orientated, start thinking about your ‘winter’ goals. What you want to accomplish in order to make your business stronger and more competitive, because before you know it ‘spring’ will arrive and with it, the luxury of time will be gone.
We can love the old, (summer, autumn, full production, fantastic sales etc.) and anticipate their return but meanwhile instead of complaining about the transition we are experiencing, we need to adapt to the change and utilize it to our best advantage.
Some companies embrace the challenges of business lulls and thrive regardless, while others sit and complain about them. I have made my choice, which will you choose?
Ralph is a detail-oriented leader who gets things done. As a partner at Incrementa Consulting, he ensures there are no gaps in which execution can fail. You can connect with Ralph on Twitter or read more of his thoughts on the Incrementa website.