What does Summer Solstice have to do with Business Success?
What does the Summer Solstice have to do with business success?
Seems like an irrelevant comparison at first glance. But it is actually an excellent metaphor for business success – and failure.
Today is June 21, 2013- commonly referred to at the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, (although debate can be had over the exact date- the 20th vs. the 21st). Whichever date you subscribe to, the message is that the summer solstice represents the day of greatest sunlight hours. In Edmonton the daylight potential will be measured as 17hours 2min and 46seconds to be exact (as posted on www.timeanddate.com .)
As we will also recall from our elementary school science classes, this is the reverse for the southern hemisphere which shows this time of year to be the winter and daylight hours will be measured at approximately 9 hours and11 min for those in New Zealand.
So what’s my point?
We are programmed to notice change, big changes in particular. In a world that competes with our sensory perceptions it is logical that we notice the big changes. Did anyone notice the difference in daylight from yesterday to today? Even if there were no clouds to alter your perception- would you have noticed? I suspect the answer would be “Of course not, I have a business to run and more important things to worry about.”
However, 6 short months ago our daylight in the northern hemisphere pushed out only 7 hours 27minutes and 38 sec. A difference of 9 hours 35minutes and 8seconds- now that is noticeable.
In business if we continue to be busy and ignore the small changes around us daily, we run the risk of not being prepared to deal with the repercussions. An increase in sunlight can be representative of an increase in sales just as easily as it could represent an increase in returns. It may not be noticeable from day to day, but if we do not take time to record our businesses progress and evaluate the results regularly, we run an imposing risk of not being prepared to deal with changes. These are the changes that can destroy a company if they are not ready.
The business lessons we can learn from this is as follows:
1) Monitor and record results. Small changes today may show trends that may become significant. This is critical to ensure you are prepared to make effective business decisions in a timely fashion.
2) Notice how your team is working, ignoring small things could end up in resignations that catch you off guard.
3) Be aware of customer satisfaction and changes in their needs. This is critical if you want to stay ahead of the competition and grow your referral business.
4) Be aware of changes that are occurring in the world that could affect your business? Remember that while Edmonton experiences over 17 hours of sunshine at this time of year, New Zealand is experiencing 9. Be aware of what is going on in your business, your industry and in the world. Being insular is deadly for business.
5) What physical changes might you be ignoring that could impact your health? Small health changes are clues to the big picture, don’t pretend they don’t exist. Your personal health is a key to your business’ health.
This business lesson is not about micro-managing or fretting over minutia. It is a reminder that we ignore things too often, and businesses excel or fail on what they choose to pay attention to.
Last time I spoke about the virtues of “sitting on the fence”, because it got you out of a dead-end routine and challenged you to take in a new vantage perspective. Now that you are up on the fence, it’s time to take inventory while you take in the view- but don’t just collect information, put it to use! Fence sitting is not intended to be comfortable- it’s intended to prepare for action. To be successful you need to know when to get on the fence and when to get off.
>“Noticing the signs along the way is only valuable if you use this knowledge to navigate your future.”