I know if seems like an odd image. A squirrel running around searching for their next nut. Moving fast, heading in one direction and then another quickly thinking, “That’s where my nut is.” I know you may be thinking, “OK Glenn, how are you tying this into business decisions?”
Well I was watching the Pixar movie “Up” with my boys and there is a dog in the movie named Doug. Now Doug has a collar allowing him to speak. And just as he starts having a conversation he yells “Squirrel” as he sees one and is distracted from what he is doing only to forget what he was saying or doing.
My point with this is a continuing trend I see in some leaders who are just like Doug. Every new product someone shows them they consider or purchase. It is the newest answer to their struggles. Or maybe they attend a conference and hear a speaker and now this is their new focus when they return. (FYI: their staff hates when their leaders go to conferences because they know what is coming next.)
The problem I see is very simple. The excitement is short lived. Within weeks a new focus happens and last month’s tool/process is changed. How often have you heard someone say, “We used to do that!”
Secondly, when this new idea or process is brought to focus, there is usually no thought given to how it may interact or affect current processes. It is decided this is what we will be doing and the team is left to figure it out
Lastly, the team also does not become invested in any new process because they know within a week or month, here comes the next newest idea so why even learn this new process or tool fully.
I know many businesses move quickly. But don’t allow the speedy pace of customer interaction or volume of customers sway the true business processes underneath. Here are a few points to consider as you review a new tool or process.
- What is this new tool/process for?
- Does it replace or assist a current tool/process?
- How will the team be trained?
- How you will measure success?
- What is the timeframe for review of results?
One last note about the timeframe for results. Have Patience!!!! You must give any new tool or process at least 6 months for your team can move through the adoption curve.
(Excitement-Hate This-It’s Not Leaving- Not So Bad-Full Use)
Play chess not checkers. The cost of change is not just the price of the product but lack of productivity from your team. You may be still paying for things you thought you cancelled.
Have some patience and don’t be a “Doug” chasing squirrels.
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Author: Glenn Pasch
As the CEO of PCG Companies, Glenn works with clients to develop new strategies that will enable their businesses to become more visible, efficient and profitable.
Glenn has more than 25 years of experience with a proven track record of leading diverse teams of professionals and companies to new levels of achievement in a variety of highly competitive industries and markets.