Posts Tagged ‘weather’

Change – Active & Passive

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

I was off to a meeting the other day and realised that something was different.  I won’t go into all the details (they aren’t relevant) but I recognised that something fundamentally different and because it had happened slowly, over a long period I hadn’t recognised it for what it was.  I’m sure that this type of change is far more widespread than people realise, but it is seldom documented in the management books as in some ways it isn’t very ‘sexy’  It contains none of the macho grabbing Life by the scruff of the neck type of strategies that are so popular in self-help and leadership books.  Sometimes Change just happens and the challenge is to firstly recognise it and secondly respond appropriately.

It can be a bit of a shock to realise that you either need to take positive action to change the new status quo or take advantage of it.  My point is that until you accept that it has happened and the things you are doing are perhaps no longer relevant you can not take  the appropriate steps.  The world around us changes, never more so than now amidst global financial instability, commodity price chaos and freak weather events.  Your business could easily be knocked off course by a Japanese tsunami if you are a dependant on say Honda or Nissan, or some micro-chip supplier over there.  Your clients may not be able to get the credit required to buy from you in today’s banking world.

When things change, you have to assess what your new options are and ask how these new circumstances might serve you.  What are the opportunities?  What new risks might you need to take steps to avoid?  It is also a good time to make sure that your goals are still relevant… we can sometimes chase something so long it becomes a habit rather than something we actually need or want.   In Britain we are used to the weather changing all the time, perhaps nowadays we need to realise that business can change almost as rapidly!

Preparedness

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

The Boy Scouts motto is “Be Prepared” and certainly we are always being encouraged to to ensure that we are ready for the various things Life and business can throw at us.  However, as this year has shown my family so well, you can’t prepare for every eventuality.

I’m sitting here, housebound once more, looking out at the November snow that is causing chaos here, after the coldest November weather for decades.  Despite a serious dose of snow in January it seems that we are no better off this time round.  Many people are complaining about the poor preparation and they may well be right, but I wonder if there isn’t a different question.  Preparation is a good tool for staying in control, but unpopular as it maybe, the truth is that we can never control everything so we need to be able to accept that which we can not control.  Sometimes you need to be able to stay home and just accept that you can not get where you wanted to go.  The ability to adapt to what is happening and modify your plans and make that work for you is one key to successful Change.  We have to be able to adapt our plans and sometimes adjust our targets too.  It is unfashionable to say this, but it is just as important to be able to adapt to circumstances as it is to hit our targets.   Staying fixed on the wrong target is just as bad as not having one.

The prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr works as well for Corporate leaders as it does for those of us whose plans have been hit by this weather or perhaps worse things….

“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”

If Life gives you lemons..

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

..make lemonade so says the American proverb, and there is certainly something in that.  So often we make plans and then find that the ‘weather’ is against us.  Then with our plans stalled, we sit, wait and move into ‘if only’ mode.  The thing that farmers and sailors really understand is working with the prevailing wind and weather. 

Many change programs start with a fancy plan, but like General Patton said “no plan survives encounter with the enemy”, at that stage you have other forces to deal with and react to, other peoples’ wishes, needs, strengths & weaknesses.  Your ability to change your plans, and adapt your strategies to take account for the prevailing ‘weather’ is what sorts the successful from the tryers and the happy from the moaners.

If it is raining today, what is it a good day for?

“Truths are first clouds; then rain, then harvest and food.”  Henry Beecher Ward

“Weather means more when you have a garden.  There’s nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is soaking in around your green beans.”  Marcelene Cox