Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
If we’re learning to fly an aeroplane the one thing we need to do is keep our eyes on the horizon. Doing so tells us if we are flying straight and level and so not surprisingly one of the most important instruments on the control panel is the artificial horizon. This is handy if we fly into a cloud and are temporarily deprived of our view of the rest of the world.
I’ve noticed recently that when we are wrestling with organisational problems it’s tempting to focus on the immediate future. Our mind is already cluttered with our to do list, the next meeting we need to prepare for, the telephone call we really need to reply to and not forgetting the bleep bleep of another email plopping smugly into our inbox.
This overload can cause us to make quick decisions and feel great that we are being effective in our business by chomping through the work at a fast rate of knots.
However, if we imagine that our business is an aeroplane then we know we also need to keep an eye on the horizon, or we risk letting the nose of our flying business drop down …and zoom we are now gently heading ever closer to the ground. Now is the time to:
Pull up! Pull up!
…And to do this though we need to remain in awareness of our current situation, which can be difficult when we are working under a heavy stress load.
What this all amounts to in simple terms is taking the time to think through a problem by looking into the future and deciding where we really want to be. If we are hiring somebody, for example, it’s tempting to focus on what we need today, rather than what we really need next year. It might be that today we could employ a trainee, who will be cheaper to hire and open to our training plan, than always looking for someone who can do the whole job right now.
If we are thinking of renting an office, or upgrading equipment it’s too easy to fall in love with a smart suite of rooms, or the latest Wi-Fi techno printer and forget that our business is changing and won’t be the same shape in 2 years. We then end up with a printer with no resale value, or a 5-year lease that we can’t easily wriggle out of.
Whenever we are pondering a thorny problem it’s a good tip to get into our aeroplane and fly about for a bit and survey the landscape. Doing so always creates new options for us and broadens our thinking beyond what is currently on our desk.
We can ask ourselves:
What do we need now?
What will we need next year?
What could life be like in two years time?
All great questions to keep our eyes firmly fixed on the horizon. Have fun flying your aeroplane next time you’re stuck on a problem and can’t readily see a solution. If you’ve been chewing on it for at least 3 days then you’re probably stuck. Go flying!
Next week: Moments Of Truth
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