How many times do you hear that someone is too busy to make changes? Or it’s just not the right time. Let’s be honest, we all use these excuses from time to time and then we end up putting things off all too often.
Working with a large retail client as we approach Christmas, is obviously a period of ‘all hands to the pump’ as they experience astonishing increases in customer demand levels. Introducing changes, understandably, at this point is the last thing on anyone’s mind.
I have therefore found it really rewarding to encounter a team of operational leaders who recognise that whilst everyone in their business is working incredibly hard right now, introducing new disciplines is actually the best thing to do at this time. Not only have these new disciplines been enthusiastically embraced, the activities involved have galvanised the leadership team to really appreciate how much they can influence performance improvements. This passion has then cascaded to more junior members of the team, who are showing a sincere interest in the increased value they are adding during this peak period of customer activity.
Tangible improvements in key result areas are already starting to be delivered which only serves to fuel the enthusiasm of the team. There is growing recognition that the changes implemented are not only beneficial now, but will be even easier to sustain long after Father Christmas has been and gone and demand levels return to normal.
“If we can make these improvements now, imagine what we can do in January” music to our ears!
There are clearly parities here with Steven Covey’s principle of ‘sharpening the saw’ and this example will undoubtedly remind me of this going forward.
So, are you too busy to make changes or too accepting of a belief that change can only work when things are quiet or easy?
And … by the way, when do these quiet and easy periods ever occur??