I was in the UK and on site all week. My first full week since New Year. This first week can often seem slightly strange…for some reason I find it easy to lose track of which day it is, and who I have met already this year. At some point I know I have to stop saying Happy New Year…maybe next week.
I tried to meet a lot of people this week. That’s one of the benefits of being on site after all, but also it’s a good way of getting back into the swing of things. There is not really any respite in our work. 2014 is behind us now. We can’t influence or change anything we have done – we can only influence and change what will happen next. We consider what we did, look at what happened and ensure we learn – both successes and not such good outcomes – but we move forward.
And often the best way – most successful, most enjoyable and most impactful – of assessing considering and planning is through discussion with someone else. We all have our own view over what we did and what we should do. That comparison and contrast that occurs when we share our views and opinions can be priceless…as well as engaging and exciting. We don’t know what we will achieve together…but there will be something.
The number of times I have managed to work something out by myself, let alone come up with a new idea, is very small indeed – most best ideas I have seen or heard come from groups or teams or discussion or debates. All the more reason I like to meet, to share thoughts, to listen to other points of view and to other ideas. I met in person, on the phone, on video, in big groups and in small groups. Early in the morning, late at night, over lunch, or dinner or coffee.
And three ideas really hit me. All were related to situations I have thought about off and on for ages. But none were ideas I had ever considered. I don’t know if they were ideas the originator had before the session, or whether they were ideas that appeared in those discussions. I just know they weren’t my idea. And moreover, I know that I would never have come up with the ideas any time anyway. I just happened to be there and hear them.
In one case I may have contributed to the thinking. In another I hope I encouraged the thinking. In the last I did nothing other than sit there and admire.
The first contribution was an idea over resourcing. We always seem to need additional people. This is good news in many ways – it shows growth and opportunity, but it is an issue nonetheless. We struggle with balancing costs of recruitment against timing of revenue. A straightforward problem but still a problem. We now have a beautifully simple but potentially successful idea to explore. Exciting.
The second encouragement was an idea for new opportunity. A very different opportunity to develop a key partner relationship into a genuine and significant ‘win-win’. More complicated to explore; but big potential to surprise and delight our partner. Very exciting
The third admiration was an idea on measuring our progress. It was so simple and yet so impactful. It will help us to develop and differentiate. It was such a good idea. In an area I had thought, and talked, about for ages, but it had never occurred to me. When I heard the idea suggested, I sat back and smiled, ruefully, for a moment…
…and then I just smiled.