Well, we’re in the dog days of summer, when everything seems to slow down to a crawl. That’s certainly true for ISI Consulting, and maybe your business, as well. We’re not facilitating that many meetings and trainings have come to a slow and gradual decline. I’ve heard it said that for lots of organizations and businesses, activity tends to slow down in the “J months” (January, June and July). Seasonal lulls (whenever yours hits) can be a great time for you to reinvest in your organization or business and evaluate all aspects of what is working and what is not working. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, should be off limits during this evaluation period.
There is always room for improvement. During these slower periods, look around and watch for areas that may need a little love. What can we do more efficiently? Where can we be more creative? What needs to be re-organized? What could do with a little more polish or finesse? Are there things or projects or ideas that need to be tossed out completely? Is there something that has always been on the back burner that you actually may have time to work on now? Ask your team members two simple questions…“What can we do better?” and “What can we systematize?” I promise if you ask them these simple questions, the flood gates will open. Before you know it, you’ll have more than you could get done in the J months and more.
Once your team has identified areas to improve, prioritize the list, assign owners to each of the mini projects, set some deadlines and get started! We did just that at ISI Consulting, and by the end of June, we already had four items marked off our list. Wohoo! Our One Drive digital filing system has been completely re-organized and makes so much more sense, new user-friendly templates have been created and our You Tube channel is about to be launched. These mini projects have re-energized our team and ownership is at an all-time high. The same thing can happen for your organization. Go ahead and tackle some projects. What’s been on the back burner? What have your thought about, but never actually tackled. Often these items won’t be “urgent” but they’re so important as you grow and scale. Let’s all be about the business of systemization and improvement. Our team members, customers and clients will thank us for this!
Holly Hayes, President & Founder
I’ve been without two key team players for the last two weeks. Good ole’ summer vacations have come around and I’ve been left with lots of tasks that I don’t normally do. Let’s just say that I may have used some colorful language on the printer, scanner, laptop…and even the ice maker this week. Yes, I know that yelling at inanimate objects isn’t productive, but somehow it made me feel better.
I’ve been doing some tasks this week that I haven’t done in the last three years plus…and man, I’m glad that I have. You see, my perspective on the complexity of a task and how long it should theoretically take has shrunk over time. I have been diminishing tasks and underappreciating all that goes into moving something from a requested task to a completed task. I had lost perspective.
Will Guidara (2022) says this so well. “Perspective has an expiration date, no matter how hard you try to hold on to it.” I needed to tap back into what it means to be the administrative assistant, project manager, video editor, social media coordinator, data analyst, and…the roles go on…and on…and on. I had lost a valuable viewpoint for the very people I was managing.
I absolutely want us to be super-focused on scaling our businesses and organizations. That is important (and probably is in your strategic plan). However, let’s scale our business without losing perspective in the process. Your organization cannot run without the valuable individuals in the office and working remotely – without subcontractors, freelancers (go Fiverr), vendors, volunteers, and even the occasional family member. We’ll all be better managers and leaders if we take time to gain, or regain, some real-world perspective. I don’t mean just reading about it. I mean blocking off some time on your calendar and getting your hands dirty. Do some jobs you usually delegate. Let’s all dig in and remember that our best recollections and memories of a task are probably out of date, and we need to get some fresh perspective. Your team members are really going to thank you!
Holly Hayes, President & Founder