Are We There Yet?
Summer is here! When I was growing up, that meant time for the annual family vacation. Was it the same for you?
We’d load up all the kids, mom and dad and the grandparents and head off for two magical weeks in a cottage on the lake. Swimming, fishing, sunbathing, cookouts on the beach and marathon canasta games.
We would sing in the car, everything from camp songs to Broadway show tunes. No matter the tune, it often ended in this refrain:
ARE WE THERE YET?
We must have driven my parents crazy! The question started approximately 5 minutes outside of town and lasted the whole drive…about 350 miles.
Many of the business owners we talk to these days are feeling a bit like my parents. They are taking their companies on a post-pandemic journey, hoping to finally reach a place where they can rest, relax, and restore…a “new normal.”
Is your business on that same journey? Is your team asking you “Are we there yet?”
In order to successfully arrive at your new normal for the business — and survive along the way – take these tips from how my parents handled our vacation journey.
- Choose the destination carefully – The “new normal” you are aiming for must have something to offer everyone and be desirable enough to be worth the trip. If possible, involve the team in making choices about what the destination will be, how it will feel, what everyone will do once you get there.
- Plan thoroughly – Make sure that you will have all the resources you need along the way and once you arrive. Each person on the team needs a suitcase packed with what they will need once you arrive. That includes possible training for new skills, access to new technology or a new job configuration.
- Take rest stops along the way – Don’t expect to make the journey to a new way of work all at once. People get tired of being “in process” and need some time to stop and catch their breath. You may need to refuel – get a new infusion of energy to sustain you the rest of the way.
- Keep everybody posted on progress – Make sure that your team knows that you are moving forward. Help them to keep a realistic expectation of how long this transition journey will take and to appreciate how far they have come along the way.
- Focus on arriving safely – You are responsible for making sure that your business arrives safely at the destination. That means that your company’s core values, brand promise, and essential identity remain intact. Your team members must arrive ready to thrive in the new situation …rested, fed and ready to go.
- Travel at the right speed – keep up with the traffic around you, go fast enough to get there in a reasonable time, but not so fast that you take dangerous risks. Make sure you plan for emergencies – have a first aid kit and a spare tire. On the business journey this includes a “Plan B” and possibly a coach or consultant that can help you make necessary adjustments and get back on the road safely.
As we adjust to a post-pandemic world, all of us are on a journey of change. Some of us are hoping to go back to how things were, some are envisioning something considerably different from the days before March 2020, and some may feel as though they’ve safely arrived at their “new normal.”
Wherever you are on the journey, we’re here to support you while your team is asking “are we there yet?” And we’ll celebrate with you when you arrive.