Remember the trust fall scene in the 2004 comedy classic, "Mean Girls" where Miss Norbury (Tina Fey) holds a rally for the students to apologize for their wrong doings? After each girl apologizes, she falls backwards into a crowd of students as a symbol of trust. Wouldn't it be cool if your team could trust YOU when they fall?
Set a Goal, Make a Plan, Take Action
Can you believe it’s Thanksgiving already? The end of the year seems to roll around pretty quickly. If you entered 2014 with a resolution, good for you. If you examined your New Year’s goal and built a plan around it, even better. And, if you took ACTION on that plan . . . well congratulations! I’ll bet you saw measurable results this year by applying those three very simple, but not so often implemented productivity tools; 1. setting a goal, 2. planning your effort and 3. taking action.
Our team had a specific, measurable and actionable plan for 2014 — and we worked it:
- SIMPLY VIRTUAL™ re-defined its service offering this year. The initiative involved identifying and working with a branding agency to re-brand, learning to build relationships in a new target market and re-tooling our website.
- We transitioned completely to the cloud when we deployed Microsoft Office 365.
- We applied for and received HUBZone and M/WBE certifications – affording us opportunity to garner federal, state and local government contracts.
- We also realized significant cost savings this year by re-examining relationships with our vendors and evaluating tools and technology we’ve used for years.
Regrettably though, even the best laid plans don’t always materialize in the way one might envision. As you take action on your plans, you will undoubtedly encounter change. We certainly did!
It’s nasty word, I know . . . but often, with change comes growth. Sometimes that means saying goodbye to long held beliefs, learning new ways of “doing” or risking embarrassment when you don’t know the answer.
Managing Change Isn’t Enough
I learned that no matter how many technology tools you have, a team cannot change its culture unless its leadership changes too. Managing change isn’t enough. We have to lead it. To facilitate adoption of new technology, new team members or any other “new”, leaders must form new habits that align with the organization’s direction.
2014 required me to stretch. In the past six months, I have taken classes to prepare for the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam, read more books & articles on the subject of Social Media than I care to name and OMG!, asked for help. With significant travel obligations, I relied heavily on our team to execute in-flight projects successfully. As a result, I marveled at the many flawless ways to “skin a cat” and learned (more than ever) that trust is what solidifies teams — virtual or otherwise.
Time to Reflect
In retrospect, it feels good. Our “lessons learned” has revealed tangible results. I am thankful to our vendors, partners, clients and most importantly, our team for a year of progress.
I hope you’ll take a moment to reflect on your 2014. You may find you have even changed a little along the way. Don’t forget to share what you’re thankful for this year in the comments below.