Wednesday, March 29, 2006

How's Your Head?

Right now, as you're reading this post, notice something. Do you have a headache? No? Did you notice that you didn't have a headache until I asked that question? Stop for a minute and appreciate the fact that you don't have a headache. Celebrate that your head feels good.

Do you find that a little goofy? Yet it's usually only when our head hurts that we wish we'd remember what it feels like not to have a headache. Only when we feel lousy can we appreciate what it's like to feel well.

That's not a lot different than the way we view our companies or organizations - or really, our lives. We don't really think much about the things that are going well until something happens to throw us off our game. At that point we need a quick fix so we can get back to taking the health of our bodies or our organizations for granted.

What might we do to maintain our health, whether that's our physical health or our organizational health? What might we do right now - today - when we don't have a headache, to ensure we won't get one - or at least to have a plan if we do?

Charles Handy talked about the Sigmoid Curve in his book The Age of Unreason. He also mentioned this concept in his book The Empty Raincoat where he said " the time you know where you ought to go, it's too late to go there, or, more dramatically, if you keep on going the way you are, you will miss the road to the future."

According to Rick Sidorowicz, the Sigmoid Curve sums up the story and time line of life itself; we start slowly, we experiment and falter, we then grow rapidly, then wax, and wane. It is the product life cycle, it is the biological life cycle. It describes the rise and fall of empires, dynasties, companies, and individuals. It also describes the course of love and relationships.

But we need to realize that in we need to manage changes that happen before we begin the downward cycle, otherwise we will be fighting to catch up instead of leading the way. If we can introduce change at point A, we will be able to be on the upswing at point B instead of the downslope.

What does this have to do with a headache? If we can stop and be grateful and mindful when things are going well, we will be much better equipped to manage the times when things aren't going as well ... and, I propose, we won't have as many of those unforeseen headaches in our path.

Just try it. Stop and notice that you don't have a headache and be grateful. And see where you might be able to be proactive instead of reactive. I bet you'll gain a brand new perspective.


Post a Comment

<< Home