July 28, 2009

Nowhere To Hide

I recently started a computer-monitored gym programme. It checks everything from the strength and intensity of each muscle used, how many calories I burn, to how often I work out.

It gives me a complete reality check on my exercise every day, every week. No excuses and no hiding out.

Talk about a wake-up call. But what results! I’m already feeling stronger and look better.

If only we had this kind of feedback in our businesses. Success would be a sure thing.

Given the complexity of any business and inaccuracy of human observation it’s too easy to miss those little moments of pain until they add up to one big coronary.

What are you missing? Tolerating? Even more importantly, what are your blind spots with regards to your performance, your team’s and company’s?

Organisational reality checks require more than a simple computer to diagnose the sources of pain. Often they exist within the blind spots of culture and human performance that can only be distinguished in conversations with an outside party and tailored diagnostic tools.

Blind spots are nearly impossible to see. They are tucked away behind conversations such as “it’s fine”, “I’m too busy” or “I’ll deal with this someday when...”

Any lack of energy, avoidance or resignation is a red flag. They signal those little asides that you push out of the way for more pressing interests or sexier aspects of the business.

Today my gym computer informed me that it was upping the expectation levels after my third workout because I had hit my targets. It also informed me that I missed Monday’s workout. No allowance for “making it up” on Tuesday.

I’m going tomorrow. It will be expecting me.

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