Embrace Your Business with a “Blank Sheet of Paper” Mindset
I propose we look at our own organization as a blank sheet of paper. By doing this, we can engage in “as if” thinking. This means thinking in a manner as if we can make the changes needed in our organization right away.
Many organizations believe this is a good idea, but never do anything with it. I see far too many promo product and print related companies operate with a “someday aisle” mindset. They say, “Someday we’ll do this” or “Someday we’ll do that.” They tell me how they are “buried and running ragged” and (although they need to) just don’t have time to focus on many important things. Have you ever been too busy to get gas in your car? Such companies are not truly satisfied with where they are yet and have come to accept “never getting around to key matters” as their norm. Sorry, friends, this is no good.
Top organizations in any industry should have two to three specific and well-defined goals they seek to accomplish. Moreover, they are aware that there is never a perfect time to work on bigger-picture things. Thus, they make time and let some things (less important) sit. They allocate time to accomplish key things that need to be addressed with the same matter of importance as a client who is upset. They are both important, albeit the client must be dealt with first, just different in terms of focus.
The late Stephen Covey spoke of four quadrants of time. Click here to read more about these quadrants. The premise is we need to spend our time on things that are important. but not urgent.
Planning, talent assessment, sales training, customer surveys, marketing research, branding, social media connections, team building, coaching, learning (such as reading this blog) and more are all examples of important things to your organization, but they are not urgent. They don’t have to be done today, but MUST be attended to. Unfortunately, many organizations let such issues sit year after year and, in turn, end up in a deep hole. And they, oftentimes, are unsure of how they got there.
So, how does your blank sheet of paper look? How do you want it to look? How many people do you have working at your current company who are A-plus quality and irreplaceable? How many things should your sheet include that you have not thought about in regard to our rapidly changing world in 2015 and beyond? Do you wish our world would simply slow down and go back to how it was in the 1980s or 1990s and then you could do nothing—you know, the same ‘ol, same ‘ol? OK, then ball up your paper and throw it away. However, don’t contact me as I am not interested in such a mindset.
In contrast, I greatly want to talk to those businesses that are scribbling and making notes on their blank sheet of paper—the people that feel some emotion to do something from reading this post. You see, such individuals or companies are willing to tr, but simply are not sure where to start. They think a consulting firm like mine would not want to understand them or want to work with them due to their “dysfunction.” Not true.
So, in closing, please remember this: Character in life and in business is a process. It is not about simply getting better, but indeed about having the courage to make the time, investment and the first step. Character is in the “trying to get better.” This is the difference in being good and great.
OK, the challenge is out there. Don’t be left with a blank sheet of paper and a “someday aisle” mindset. Let’s connect about your blank and (hopefully) now scribbled on piece of paper...my treat. Until then, keep pushing forward.
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Ryan T. Sauers has spent 25 years leading and/or consulting with printing, graphics, promotional and visual communications related organizations. Ryan is President of the independent consulting firm, Sauers Consulting Strategies, founded in 2010.
Key areas of focus of the firm include: sales training, marketing strategy, personal branding, leadership development and organizational change.
Sauers is a frequent national speaker and columnist. He has been recognized as one of the top 80 CMOs in the world and achieved the top designation of Certified Marketing Executive through Sales and Marketing Executives International.
Sauers is an adjunct university professor teaching leadership and communication courses to current and aspiring leaders. He is a Certified Myers Briggs, DiSC and Emotional Intelligence Practitioner (one of few in US to achieve all 3 rigorous certifications related to human communications, personality & behavior).
Sauers is working on his Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and hosts a radio show in Atlanta (Marketing Matters). He is author of the best-selling books Everyone is in Sales and Would You Buy from You? More info at: RyanSauers.com