Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Is Your Organization Healthy?

Organizations are much like organisms.  It is important to stay healthy to be most effective and happy.  When was the last time yours had a "check up"?  Perhaps it is time for your business to check your vital signs and other indicators of health?

First of all, the best (whether individual or corporate) understand a basic truth: Health is NOT just the absence of disease.  Instead, true health is the presence of vitality! 

Consider your current organizational symptoms.  Is your operation getting optimal results?  Is there dynamic, principle-based leadership throughout the organization?  Do all the different "parts" (operational functions) interact effectively with each other?  Are there indications of illness in one part of your company that is negatively affecting the rest of the business?

One way to think about your organization is similar to how your body operates.

The Brain - Unclear/unhealthy focus "directs" the rest of the body (Leadership must provide a compelling vision, standards, and communicate guidance to all parts of the operation).

Various physiological functions (lungs/breathing, blood/circulatory system, food/digestive system, protection/immune system, etc.) all must work together like departments/divisions of a business to walk, talk, and accomplish anything.

Ask yourself some questions:

1. If you had a physical problem that was causing you pain or limiting you significantly, wouldn't you do something (ex. visit a medical specialist) to correct that situation?  Why wouldn't you do the same for your business?

2. Is your business operating at peak health?  If not, what are you "feeding" your company?  Does it have a healthy "diet"?  Does your operation have proper balance?  Are you "working out" and challenging your business to improve and grow?  Are all the different functions aligned and working together properly to ensure the best outcomes?

3. How are you (and your colleagues) participating in your well-being?  Do you have a plan that serves your "body" so you can best serve those customers that you were born to serve?

Take your vital signs and consider the health path you are on now, and where it is leading you.  Then make a decision about your corporate lifestyle.  Will it lead to where you want to be in your future?  Will it allow you to leave the vital legacy you want to leave?

Think about it.  But more importantly, do something about it...today!

**For world-class results, get proven solutions by contacting former Disney business performance experts at 1-888-MDJONES/635-6637 or online at www.SmallWorldAlliance.com

Monday, July 23, 2012

Screwed By My GPS - Thank Goodness!

On a recent road trip covering a couple thousand miles, I had several interesting experiences...all starting with what should have been a direct route through the mountains of North Carolina/Tennessee.

Should have been.

Relying on the new technology, I plugged in the address of my next destination and chose to go where my phone's GPS guided me.  It wasn't until I was an hour into the drive when I concluded I wasn't "on the right path".  I pulled out my trusty paper map and discovered, sure enough, I was deeply into what my GPS thought was the "better" scenic route - adding about an hour onto my drive.

After some choice bad words, I realized that backtracking would add even more of a delay, so I opted to forge ahead on the same winding mountain roads I was on.  Then a very interesting thing happened...

I started to experience...things.

Not in a weird, mindless, hypnotic, imaginary way (sorry, no moonshine on this trip).  But in a "let go of any preconceived notions and simply experience what is happening" kind of way.

Yes, it was a much longer route, but it was, indeed, a much better route as well.  I was amazed at all the "new" I started to enjoy. 

New sights.  New sounds.  New inspiration.  New insights.  New attitude.  New hope.  New enjoyment.

And it all started out with me cursing out my phone.

Kinda like Life.  Sometimes routes that, at first glance, start out looking like a mistake, can actually be a better path.  Just because it isn't what we anticipated doesn't mean it's less valuable.  Being open to Life's surprises can offer a gift we would never enjoy otherwise.

Perhaps instead of grumbling, we should experience unexpected changes in our "plan" more open to what IS there than what ISN'T (our original plan).  We may end up with "better" after all.

Think about it.  But more importantly, do something about it...today!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Buen Camino!

Are you yearning for an adventure?  How about one that is an internal adventure as well?

There is an experience that has been commonly described as "life changing" by nearly everyone who has attempted it.  It involves about a month of time, a lot of personal effort, and the willingness to take the first step...and a lot of steps afterwards.

The adventure?  The famed El Camino de Santiago.  A 500 mile walking pilgrimage across northern Spain and/or parts of France.  Similar to the Appalachian Trail in the U.S., the Camino de Santiago crosses countless villages, 4 mountain ranges, and expansive stretches of open country that allow for a unique life experience. 

The external adventure is definitely worth the price of admission, but it is the internal adventure that makes the experience life-changing.

Adventurers attempt "El Camino" for many different reasons, but all find that the time spent in deep thought creates a clarity of insight(s) that forever enhances the quality of Life afterwards.

So, how much is THAT worth?

Along the journey, a common phrase is "Buen Camino", (which literally means "good path") is generally received as "good luck and happy travelling".  It also has a deeper meaning - an acknowledgment that you see a person who is searching for "perfection".  This is related to the "pilgrimage" intent.  Becoming your best self - what God intends - is the goal.

How are you "doing" your life?  Are you merely existing and going with whatever happens by default?  Or are you purposefully living your unique life by design?

Whether it is a month-long pilgrimage across a foreign country or simply a series of daily meditative minutes to yourself before you start your day, I hope that you take some time to ponder HOW you want to live your life's journey - so you have a "Buen Camino"!

Think about it.  But more importantly, do something about it...today!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tourist or Traveler?

During a recent international project, I spent an entire day (each way) at several airports.  During the process, I noticed there is a definite difference between the people flying around the world.

In all cases, people are going from where they are/were to where they want to be. Transportation, in it's basest sense, is simply a means to an end. A way to progress - to achieve movement toward something we want.  In this way, the person is more of a passive "tourist" - just along for the ride.

It's not just the difference between business travel and pleasure travel.  It extends to HOW a person experiences the journey...and Life.

There is a significant difference in the WAY people move from place to place.  Whether for business or pleasure, some people actually seem to be engaged in the process of traveling - gaining additional value from the experience of "getting" to the destination.  I consider these people to be more of a "traveler".

My personal guideline when traveling is to be "unplugged" - free from the tyranny of the Internet and computer files.  One of the reasons I enjoy traveling so much is that I'm able to connect to the smallest (valuable) details of the process, and purposefully experience those Life-enhancing moments that create a life that is truly lived (rather than merely existing.)

In some cases, I interact with people.  In others I just observe and ponder.  I've found that Life's biggest/best insights are a result of simply taking the time to ponder.  When was the last time YOU planned some "pondering time" into your schedule...and actually DID it?

Are you just a tourist going through your life?  Or are you an engaged traveler?

Think about it.  But more importantly, do something about it...today!