Last month, I drew parallels between workplace improvement initiatives and health improvement initiatives, suggesting that quick fixes don’t work in either case.  I gave you two principles to follow in order to ensure success; here are three more to help to help you on your way.

Keep your eye on the prize.

With dieting, we can get very caught up in monitoring details. We count and record every shred of food we swallow, every minute we spend trotting on the treadmill, and more.  But the point is not these metrics.  It’s to feel better and be healthier.

The point can also elude us at work. Let’s say your organization decides to improve customer service. Suddenly, in an effort to monitor key performance measures, all eyes are on numbers, numbers, numbers – quantity but not quality.

Why do we concentrate on this less-than-meaningful mechanical regimen?  Because a laser-beam focus simplifies life and makes it more manageable.   Instead, keep your eye on the prize – the point – and you’ll generate innovative approaches that go far beyond self-limiting metrics.

Don’t go it alone.

The high achiever who believes that he can accomplish anything through his own discipline and determination and who feels that seeking support is a weakness, is often called a “Lone Ranger.”

The fact is, accomplishing great things, either personally or professionally, cannot be done alone.  Pursue change collaboratively, and you turn the effort from a Quixote-like escapade (dreaming the impossible dream) into an inspiring mission.

Instead of declaring what will be done, invite others’ thoughts about what should or could be done to achieve the initiative. The result will be a wealth of ideas and a solution that has employee ownership written all over it.

Do the doable, now.

When we consider the big lifestyle changes we need to make to restore our bodies to good health, we can procrastinate endlessly.

Let’s wait till New Year’s Day. Or till we buy new shoes. Or “shop” various gyms. Rationalizations to put off implementing the Big Plan are infinite!

When it comes to any meaningful improvement, when is the right time to start making positive changes? Now.  We all know this, but we also know it’s easier said than done.  Within your organization, you know you will face at least a few resistant colleagues plus all of the responsibilities that keep you more than busy already.

So start small, working with others, and when you’ve won a tiny victory, win another, and then another. Then show how your efforts are producing important results, to win over skeptics and fence sitters.

No, there’s no quick fix, packaged program, or easy shortcut that can produce dramatic, lasting results. But let that fact of life make you more resolute, not less.

If your organization would like a keynote speech or training program
on this or other topics, contact Jeanne Baer at  (402) 475-1127 or
visit me on the web at
Copyright 2011 Creative Training Solutions