Today, I am writing to you in reflection mode. I think the first two quarters of 2016, I was cautiously watching the numbers and making sure things were running smoothly. At the same time, I have seen tremendous changes at our company in the areas of upgraded spaces and new construction. Now, I am at a point where I am asking myself, how am I going to pay for all of this? Where is all this change going to take us in the future?
I am coming back to the same thought over and over. My goal in life is to add value to others: employees, employee’s families, clients and vendors. Now I’m finding myself wanting to step up this game. I think too often, I have that attitude of “if our managers make good investments, we will see return”. I am ready to throw that type of thinking out the window. The investment is one piece, but I need to see more action and return on the investment. I also think it is time that I listen more to the needs of our employees and make sure the company is making a difference in the lives of the people.
More Speed Needed
I am coming to the realization that I need bring a sense of urgency to this situation. I am looking at goals I still want to achieve in 2016 and I am going to challenge myself and others to get there. I feel this is the real difference maker that needs to occur. Too often, I have been in waiting mode. Waiting for performance indicators to be produced or waiting for plans to be finalized by an architect or consulting group. Once I receive these numbers, a set of actions takes place.
I need to work on the whole issue of “speed and connection”. People who are connected want to work toward a greater good. I used to coach basketball and my goal was to make sure everyone on the team was on the floor each quarter. My teams always focused on being different than other teams. We were successful, because our kids came to compete and push themselves to higher levels.
For me, the process of change begins and ends with me. I am the one who needs to be the better person and work toward cultivating a culture that continues to look at building efficient processes and create value for others. In addition, buy-in from others is not always there. Many people are skeptical of change, especially when speed is involved. My goal is to be the better person in all situations and show people where the value is and why we need to get there.
Set the Expectations
I think many times, I don’t set the expectations or worse yet I don’t set the expectations because I might be disappointed. Today, I am realizing that far too many projects have low expectations or none whatsoever. This is a very dangerous course and often leads to project delays and miscommunication. Going forward, I am going to set higher expectations and reinforce those expectations.
Today, I believe we are going through a huge transition period. Everyone values their time. People are filling their time in all sorts of ways: texting, reading headlines, seeking the breaking news, looking for the next great experience. At the same time, we are getting information thrown at us through the internet, apps, texts and other social media messages like Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook
Staying above distractions is a daily objective. It is too easy to lose sight of objectives and waste time chasing information on the Internet. In addition, work issues come up that need attention, some more than others. It is critical to prioritize and spend time on the issues that need to be addressed and assigned. No one person can be responsible for all issues affecting a company. It takes a team. In the end, I work at minimizing distractions every day.
Don’t be reactive, Ask more questions
Creating a culture of speed is not a reactive process. Many decisions were made in a reactive manner without any input from others, as a result these decisions have now turned into issues. Most of the issues I address today are the result of some type of reactive decision that was made without a proper understanding of the process or with limited knowledge of the process.
Asking questions and having a better understanding of more options will ultimately help people make more informed decisions at a savings that can be calculated and measured. If I want more speed, I need to ask more questions.
I can’t add value to others, if I don’t understand what that value looks like to begin with. Learning every day is not an option. It is a prerequisite!