Business Purpose: The new pecking order for business purposes is Employee, Customer, Vendor, Community, and Shareholder. The Business Roundtable puts customers before employees. I disagree with that. However, it is a step in the right direction.
When David Jenyns contacted me and asked if I would read and review his book, I was knee-deep in books to read already. Another author referred me to him, so I agreed to review his book, but I couldn’t promise when. With that understanding, I purchased his book and put it in the stack.
I did get to reading SYSTEMology, and I am pleased that I did. To begin with, I am a system and process kind of guy. I believe in documenting what we are doing and working to improve it over time. I use checklists and process outlines in my work every day.
So what happens when the pandemic-storm is over? Presently, we are in a tight job market, especially in the hospitality and travel industries. Our employees are reluctant to change jobs now, even if they are not particularly happy.
In a recent podcast, Mike Robbins spoke of the need for leaders to think about employee morale. I think of morale as being another word for culture. Changing culture is one of the most challenging change-management tasks a leader has to tackle. Seemingly overnight, perhaps literally overnight, leaders have had to move workers to remote working cultures.
A colleague sent me a link to a presentation by Mike Robbins, a mentor, and coach. When I finally made time to view it, I understood why she enjoyed it and recommended it. Mike had several twists on how to lead during change. Of course, he had a lot to work with because of the pandemic.
Recently I joined a few fellow photo club members on an outing to a nature preserve. My wife decided to tag along. We had several reasons for getting out despite the pandemic restrictions. One of them was that a cleaning crew would be in our home during the morning, and we usually find somewhere to go that is safe so that we can leave our home to them. Another reason was that we are going a little bit stir-crazy.
The outing made sense for us. The club members are COVID aware and careful. Masks are required, we would all be outside, and social distancing is enforced. The surprising thing was that this nature center is about 15 minutes from home, and we never knew it was there.
An Old Saying: A saying I grew up with was, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you.” I wasn’t far into a college education when I figured out that that was a lousy saying. I knew what it meant—if you didn’t know about a tragedy or pending trauma, then you can’t worry about it. However, these days, some folks appear to take that saying literally. They stay willfully ignorant.
The Elephant: I guess that most of you know the story that describes how a fully-grown elephant is kept in place by a relatively small spike in the ground. Simply stated, an elephant baby is steaked to the ground with a substantial stake, chain, and ankle cuff. The baby elephant isn’t able to pull the steak up or break the chain, and after wearing itself out by trying, it learns that it is useless to tug at the restraint. An adult elephant could easily pull that steak out of the ground or break the chain—without even trying. But the elephant remembers the lesson, so when the chain gets taught, the elephant stops tugging. Having a memory like an elephant isn’t always a useful thing!
SciFi: I finally succumbed to the need for diversion. Generally, once or twice each year, I will indulge in a science-fiction book. The challenge for me is I get so involved in the book once I pick it up that many other things come to a halt.
Babies in the River: I was chatting with a good friend and colleague this past week. We touched on several personal subjects and then gravitated to business topics. At one point, I was remarking about how some leaders find systems thinking to be so difficult. That triggered an oft-told story in his mind about the “River Babies.”