Thursday, September 8, 2011

Patience Drives Progress

I grew up in a world of drive through "restaurants", microwave dinners and Convenience Stores with hot dogs on a rotisserie available 24/7.  I can barely remember a world without the Internet, haven't used a fax machine in years, and would prefer to receive a [Direct] Message than email anytime.  Simply put, I like my stuff now.  Not in a minute, not in a little while... I want what I want NOW.

Work is Not a Microwave
There are no quick wins, really.  Yes, we love to brainstorm and convince ourselves we've come up with an amazing idea that will change the organization, country, world...whatever.  Coming up with an idea is one thing; however, executing on that idea that actually results in moving the needle is very different.  Candidly, without that great idea no progress can occur.  But we need to be realistic...dare I say strategic in our thinking and execution if we are to achieve progress.

In his book Onward, Howard Schultz describes how he tried to get a quick win as he transitioned back into the ceo role at Starbucks Coffee Company.  He tried, failed and then slowed down to take a more strategic view of turning his company around. He embraced the notion of being strategic, while still having a sense of urgency about the work being done.  Being bold, and expecting everything to be perfect right away are two very different things.

HR Should Be Strategic
Time for a moment of self-disclosure.  I'm tired of people saying how lame it is for HR to be talking about being strategic.  We're supposed to be.  We're supposed to be putting plans in place for the short and long term.  We're supposed to be thinking well beyond the current benefits/recruitment/training/political-hot-potato-of-the-day crisis and delivering value to our organizations.  So if you're taking the easy way out and jumping on the HR bashing train against being strategic, it's time to switch professions.

How About You
Be patient with your ideas.  Think through them, spend time testing them, and then make a decision and act on them.  Being patient and then being decisive is a potent combination.  Being trapped in a world of analysis paralysis and excuses is also a potent combination.  Which path do you take?  I'm glad I switched.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of kaboodle

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely HR should be strategic. By implementing a specific HR strategy, HR has a chance to have positive results on business outcomes. Executives in other areas of the business would then realize this opportunity to align strategies, break out of their silos, and work collectively toward an ending goal. By knowing that ending goal, you can measure the impact of your strategy. By measuring the strategy(s) you can learn, adjust and optimize investments in your people (i.e. your human capital).

    Gene Pease, Co-Founder and CEO

    Capital Analytics