I recently packed up the SUV and headed to southern California with my family to spend Christmas with my oldest son. On the morning of Christmas Eve the kids and I headed up the road to the local ski resort. It was a beautiful day and we couldn’t wait to get onto the snow. After a few warm-up runs at the lower part of the resort we took a chairlift, to the top of the mountain.
At 8,000 feet I skied off the lift to the trail head. It then hit me….as I looked up I couldn’t believe what was before my eyes. Here I was in the middle of the forest covered in a thin blanket of snow but what was that in the distance. I asked my son what’s out there? He replied, “the Mojave”. What did he say? Yes, the hearing may be fading with each passing year, but the desert? I looked on in awe.
What a contrast from the fresh snow and green pines, to the dry almost barren land. How could two places be so different but yet be so close?
Here we are just getting 2010 underway and I wonder will this year look like last or will it bring forth new life and excitement as the economy begins to recover and gain momentum. I could play it safe and tell you we will see very little growth, but I think we need to move beyond the critics view. We need to gain a better vantage point if we are going to see a different perspective.
When you sat down and planned out your Company’s budget for 2010, did you start with 2009 actual numbers and project that the next year would be slightly better? If so, don’t feel alone as that is how most budgeting is done. But what are you going to do different in 2010 to stimulate sales and increase efficiencies? You need to see your Company being in a different place a year from now. If you can’t, then you most likely will arrive at the same place as you did in 2009.
Creating stretch goals are one thing but the real success comes when new strategies are developed to help your team move to a different place. If I were to stay at the ski lodge I would have never seen the vast desert. In turn my appreciation for the abundant beauty and potential for growth around me would not have come into focus.
Take time now to step away from your Company and imagine what it could become. Then take that vision and involve your team in creating the plans to move you this new place.
Until next time….at this crossroad will you choose the desert or the forest?