Business & Leadership Behaviors Random Thoughts

Resolution Reality: No Pain, No Gain

It’s the first week in January and some of us may already be starting to question the sanity of those New Year’s Resolutions. Take one of the classics – Getting Healthy.

Getting Healthy is one of those resolutions that you know is probably the best thing for you – but you will likely fight it….hard…..for a long time (which is probably why it’s still on your list). We see a similar experience with some of our clients introducing new solutions into their environments.

I know – as a Solution Provider, you expect me to say that “it’s a breeze”, “it’ll be a seamless transition”, “your team is going to love it” – right? Well, if you’ve ever implemented any type of change with your organization, you know that statements like those are right up there on the reality scale with “kale tastes great!”

The truth with getting your body healthy or getting your organization’s processes or systems healthy – is that it isn’t easy, it takes work, it might be painful for a while, but in the end – it is definitely worth it.

So now that you’ve likely done every preparation (procrastination) around your resolution – new gym membership, cleared out (consumed) all of the snacks in the pantry, laid out your new workout clothes – you’re ready. Right? And now the reality of actually taking action has arrived. So what do you do?

Just Do It!

Nike was on to something with this one. You’ve made the decision that something needs to be done. Now it’s time to take the action. You may have read every article, researched every option but the reality is that you can no longer see your shoes without a mirror – or meet your shipping goals without blowing your budget on overtime. It’s time to get started.

I think that this is the hardest part of making any change. It can be scary. The first time you do something different often is. But as you know with learning to ride a bike, swing a golf club or endure yet another school recital – it gets easier. And look at it this way – if it is really so awful, you can always go back to the way you were doing things before. You have a mirror in the house, right?

This Might Hurt A Bit…

If change was easy, everyone would operating at optimal efficiency – all while wearing the jeans they wore in college. But change isn’t easy. In all honesty, the process can be painful.

We had a client recently compare overhauling their order management and supply chain system with having knee surgery. It’s painful, but as you recover, you see that you have a better knee. It’s not exactly a great marketing sound bite – but it’s actually pretty accurate.

The types of systems that we implement are not phone apps that remind you to go to the dog groomer. They impact entire operations. When you are making a major change – it isn’t going to be pretty and there will likely be some pain in the process. But in the end, you will be operating more efficiently and likely saving significant amounts of money.

You May Need A Spotter for That Weight…

How many times have you tried to do this on your own, only to end up with the same situation (or worse situation) in front of you (can you see your shoes?). There’s a reason that every other commercial on TV these days is tools for getting healthier. I’m obviously not recommending that you get a Thigh Master – but sometimes the most effective way to make a change is to get some help.

Unless your expertise surrounds the systems you’re trying to implement (or the waistline you’re trying to shrink), the most efficient and effective approach is often to bring in an expert – a trainer for your waistline or a solution provider for your system.

Your expert should have experience getting to the end results that you seek. Part of their job is to provide an objective set of eyes on your problems and help you see the things that you may have overlooked since you are so close to the situation. And they need to stick with you through the really challenging times (like when you really want to quit the gym by February) and get you to the other side.

Yes, the knee surgery analogy was a little rough – but seriously – don’t you want the right surgeon, a good nurse, and an unforgiving physical therapist to get that knee back in shape? Bringing in the experts can be a very good move. Bringing in experts that don’t give up on you is the best move.

And even though the knee surgery analogy is true, a more positive perspective came from one of our clients at a major Army site. He noted that even when different issues were uncovered and security requirements were changing that HL Group never quit. Yes, we’re like that annoying Trainer that insists on sticking with you even though you were ready to quit the gym two weeks ago. And like the Trainer, you’ll thank us in the end.

So yes, the realities of your New Year’s Resolutions for yourself and your organization may be setting in. But if you take the action, be realistic about the process and get some support –by this time next year you will finally have this off your Resolution List.

And don’t forget to track down those college jeans your wife keeps trying to throw out…..