how are you making sure you aren't trimming the wrong things

How are you creating a place for ideas to grow?

After an inch or two of snow, the weather was cold enough to keep the snow from melting for about a week. Which led birds to find food a different way.  The birds, that are not normally visible, were everywhere and nipping off the buds that were just emerging. They just moved through each limb, removing every single bud. Nothing was left.

In business, cutting off the new growth in every single part of business can stop new products or services from reaching their potential. The most successful businesses have a place where ideas can germinate and grow. They know that is the lifeblood of their business.

How are you making sure you have a place for ideas to grow?

do you know when the window will close?

Do you know when the window is open and when it will close?

The last few days have been so foggy, the sun was not able to burn through. Today was different. The sun was bright and shiny against a brilliant, blue background, which made for a lovely drive to my favorite hiking place. In the distance, the clouds were so thick, they obscured the mountains. But that was in the distance.

As I started my hike, the sun streamed through the trees. The water, the green of the trees, the sun and the blue sky all played against each other in a beautiful way. But as my hike proceeded, the fog rolled back in and dulled the brilliant colors against a grey background. The window closed.

In business, the same happens. We see things on the horizon. Sometimes they come to pass and other times they don’t. Knowing when the window is open and when it will close is the key to success. How good are you at predicting when the window is open and when it will close?

how are you taking delight in the moment

How are you finding delight in the moment?

At the edge of the woods where I hike are horse and cow farms. One particular trail skirts the edge of a pasture where horses graze, sometimes, but usually not when I pass by. But on a recent morning, after a week of record rain, the horses were out. And they weren’t just grazing, they were playing. It was the first full sun day in weeks. And the horses were taking full advantage of the beautiful day, galloping and playing with each other.

It’s hard not to smile at the sight of animals enjoying themselves. And a good reminder how easy it is to take delight in the moment. Whether on your own, or in your organization, how are you finding delight in the moment?

welcome to 2022

Welcome to 2022!

As we enter a new year, here are a few questions to help focus you for the year?

What do you love to do? Do more of that

What sucks the energy from you? Stop doing that

What have you always wanted to do, but haven’t yet? Start doing that

Wishing you a fantastic 2022!

are you building to last?

Are you building to last?

One day, a few weeks ago, it was windy. Really windy. It happens periodically. Sometimes a few trees fall over or limbs fall. And life goes on. This time, a brand new fence was blown over. In its entirety. The whole thing was just lying on the ground, intact from end to end. The problem was clear. The fence posts were small metal poles that had been driven less than a foot into the ground, anchored by a 9 inch diameter concrete footing. The very small anchor wasn’t enough to stand up to 50 mph gusts of wind pushing on the fence, even though every other fence around it was still standing.

Understanding the conditions necessary to last for the long term are important. Are you building to last?

How are you recharging?

How are you recharging?

One of my favorite things these days is hiking through the woods. The fresh smell, the greenery, the winding trails. It is a great way to recharge.

As we approach the end of the year, how are you recharging?

Don’t get distracted from the things that matter

One day on a walk, a squirrel was sitting on a rock eating a nut. I was sure as I got closer, it would run away. But it just sat there eating the nut. Until I got almost to it, when it ran away. It made the assessment to eat the nut as long as possible. And no distraction was going to stop it.

During the workday, it is so easy to get distracted by things that don’t matter instead of focusing on the things that do. How do you make sure you are focused on the things that matter?

more isn't always better

More isn’t always better

This year, rain came early in the Pacific Northwest. And unfortunately, that meant just as the leaves were turning, they were rapidly knocked to the ground by the wind and rain. More rain and wind, fewer days of fall colors.

We find this type of trade off in business too. Too much in one area means less in another. The trick is to find the balance of investment, people, focus, etc. that drives the best result. More isn’t always better.

how effectively are you setting boundaries?

How effectively are you setting boundaries?

The pedestrian entrance to the local university is flanked by one house on each side. As you can imagine, people like to park there and walk onto the university. All year long, a truck has been parked in front of one of the houses, with cones blocking off the rest of the curb space. The owner of the house set a clear boundary that they don’t want people parking there. And no-one has disturbed the space.

We talk about a lot of things in business, but boundaries don’t come up as often as they should. When done well, boundaries set the basis for what is appropriate and what isn’t in how people interact with each other. And when they are made explicit, people understand the expectations, leading to lower levels of conflict and stronger relationships.

How effectively are you setting boundaries?