Updated: Nov 15, 2020
Stop to reflect ... and discover what you otherwise would have missed out on!
I recently had the pleasure to work with a group of board members who took the conscious and courageous decision to take time out for 2 days in order to reflect and decide upon how they could continue to create #value, particularly given the present unclear #future scenario.
During lunch, the CEO of the company mentioned how important it is to stop and #reflect, especially in times of #crises. “Given how earnest the current situation is, we have been focusing very intensely on damage control and short-term results for the past weeks and even months. Risk is however, that we become trapped in this reactive modus too long and as a result, lose focus on the future. We cannot afford to do so. Instead, we must continuously create our future, especially now that the future has become so unclear”.
Many companies are currently in #crisesmode with full focus on the here and now. In an attempt to secure liquidity and reduce costs, they shift the organizations resources towards delivery of short-term results. This is without a doubt important - however, #SuccessfulCompanies recognize that now is the time to stop in order to reflect; now is the time where future is created. Questions arise: What can we learn when looking closely at our present situation? What are the seeds in all of this that will help us to come out stronger on the other side? What value did we deliver yesterday and what value is required of us tomorrow?
“The process of reflection is like looking closely when driving in thick fog … would you not take the time to look closely when driving in thick fog in order to avoid a head-on collision or miss your exit”?
“Seeing things more clearly can make all the difference”.
Many books on the topic of (personal) self-reflection or self-awareness can be found, but in the corporate world surprisingly few companies actually have the courage and far-sight to take the time and reflect on their given situation in a structured and focused manner. It seems much more popular and fun to jump into action mode or to (once again) change the organization – sound familiar?
How effective it can be, however, to stop in order to reflect becomes clear when looking at the feedback of the group after only two days:
• Super happy with the days
• Feels like we have a new board
• We came to very valuable insights
• Incredibly stimulating
• Really helped us get back on track
• Follow-up is so important
• Very inspiring and dynamic
• Taking time to reflect is so important right now
• Really like the process
• So very beneficial days
• I gained a lot of energy
• Extra fun to see clear results
• Wish we had even more time
• Really good things came out of these days
"As with so many things in life. The gift of reflection is available to us at any time – it is up to us however, whether or not we accept this gift".
“How can you go about it”?
Firstly: Agree with your leadership team that you will invest into taking time-out in order to pause and reflect so that you can look closely at and gain insight over your present situation and future. This can feel very uncomfortable at first, since we are so used to continuously producing solutions and pumping out actions.
Secondly: Consider working with an experienced Coach who uses a structured methodology and #systemic as well as holistic approach. This will ensure you stay on track, maintain focus and work consistently and constructively in a forward-oriented direction. It will also help you to generate new #insights which will take you beyond your present “reality” or “limited structures of thinking” and towards an increase in #awareness that can make all the difference.
Thirdly: Trust in the process and the consolidated potential of you as a group, you will be surprised!