Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Goldilocks and the new year

Happy New Year Everyone!

Welcome back from the break. Some folks have said the break was too short. Others said it was too long. A few have said it was just right. The comments so far this week brought Goldilocks to mind.

Remember, Goldilocks and the three bears? One cup of oatmeal was too hot, another too cold, and finally one was just right.

As we embark on a new calendar year, let's think more like Goldilocks.

1. Let's take risks like Goldilocks did. You have to admit, it was pretty risky roaming around unfamiliar territory. But, she didn't just roam, she even tasted the food. Let's put ourselves out there a little further than in the past and be less fearful of the outcome of taking chances.

2. Let's keep trying like Goldilocks did. When the first bowl of oatmeal (what is porridge anyway?) was too hot, she tried again. When the second try didn’t meet her expectations, she tried another time. Let’s be not hesitate to try more than once. Too often, we give up after just one try; however, if we try another time or two, maybe we’ll reap greater rewards.

One example of trying over and over would be with delegation. When you task a colleague with a project and it doesn’t come back perfectly, talk it over, and try again. The next time, it will be better, so try another time. By the time the colleague has done it three times, it will probably be just right.

3. Let’s respond quickly to mistakes like Goldilocks did. At the end of the story, Goldilocks was napping in the “just right” bed when the bears returned home. The baby bear found Goldilocks in his bed and cried out, “Someone has been sleeping in my bed—and here she is!” Goldilocks heard the bear cry out, and she quickly jumped out of the bed and ran away. When we have warnings that something is not going to work out, let’s learn quickly and get out. Oh sure, I just said, let’s try and try again. But, let’s be reasonable about it. There’s a difference between cold oatmeal and a bear in your face. When something major is wrong, it’s time to see the bear and get out.

An example of this one would be when a guest speaker presents and it doesn't go as well as planned. Let's not keep trying with that person, let's move forward quickly to someone else so as not to waste our colleagues' time. Another example would be a project plan. If the plan is not helping the team be efficient, it might be time for a new plan. Or, it might even be time to cancel the project.

As you get back in the swing of work this week, I hope you enjoy seeing friends, working on cool projects, and participating in new year activities.

With so much excitement a new year brings, you might find that the start to the new year is just how Goldilocks would want it: just right.