It’s no secret, the colder and wetter the weather outside gets, the less active we become and the fatter we get – horses and businesses are no different. And just as my horses are growing fat and lazy standing in the pasture waiting for their next handout of hay and oats, many organizations are growing fat and lazy resting on their laurels, waiting for their next handout from long standing loyal customers while their competition is out innovating for future growth and profitability.

Don’t allow your organization to become fat and lazy this winter. The following strategies will help ensure your organization’s ready for the race ahead:

  1. Set Goals – Assess or reassess where you are, where you want to be and how you are going to get there. Then commit your goals to writing. A goal without a plan is just a dream and a dream that’s not written down is just a wish. By understanding your goals and gaps you can create meaningful action plans for success. When writing goals make sure they are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound.
  2. Get Organized –  Shake off the January mid-winter blahs and start getting organized. Your organization can’t be productive if it’s drowning in chaos. So whether you call it 5S or something else, now’s a perfect time to make the commitment to:  Sort (organize) – evaluate the clutter around you, distinguish what’s needed and what’s not, then eliminate the latter. Set in Order (orderliness) –  find a place to keep your tools, resources, references, etc. so they can be immediately and easily retrieved. Shine (cleanliness) – Clean and polish your work areas and then keep them that way. Standardize (repeatability) – When we maintain the first three Ss, we are standardizing the process to ensure repeatability. Sustain (discipline) – Making it a habit to maintain these procedures will help drive higher levels of performance.
  3. Reconnect – It’s easy to get caught up in the business at hand and forget about the outside world, but if you’re going to remain competitive, you’ve got to stay connected. Take a look at your address book – who is an inspiration, a mentor, or a coach that you’ve lost touch with? Now’s the time to reconnect – that way you’ll be ready to run the race.

It’s amazing what can happen to both your psyche and your productivity when you implement these 3 seemingly simple actions. So get up, get busy and prepare for the future ahead. If you don’t your organization won’t only be fat and lazy – it will die.

*Horse-ism – Using good ‘ole horse sense to become an extraordinary leader!