Reflection, the Breakfast of Champions

24.08.2020

Know what you control, and what you don’t control.

So says the Stoic master Epictetus. Focus on the former, he goes on, and build good routines that build character and capability.  Excellence is a habit sustained by repetition. And so, our Digital Transformation Lighthouse and related ‘operating rhythms’ [Link to Digital Pathways Exec Coaching offering] are the heartbeat of our management system. Operating rhythms can be weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and beyond. Each represents a footprint in time, a brief hitting of the PAUSE button so that we can reflect and adjust.

How does all this help our Digital Transformation?

Transformation begins with our Digital Strategy Compass and is sustained by our Lighthouse and sound operating rhythms. We de-risk our journey by asking questions and surfacing problems in open, visual forums.

  1. How did Innovation work go this week/month/quarter? Did we meet our team/business unit/ division/company goals?
  2. What worked, did not work – and why?
  3. Did I meet my personal goals? What have we learned ourselves, as a team, and as individuals?
  4. What have we learned about our business, technology, processes, and capability? What’s it mean for the upcoming cycle?
  5. What skills do we need to strengthen? What new skills do we want to develop? What partnerships do we need to make?

In a risky post-pandemic world, it’s easy to lose your moorings and get pulled into the daily ceaseless roar. But we’re human by the grace of our intellect, by the grace of reflection. Given our inevitable blind spots, proclivities, neuroses, and occasional insanities – it’s hard for any individual to do well.

We have to try. Even better if we can reflect as a team, which can blunt the effect of individual foibles. Excellence is difficult to sustain because you can never take a break. You have to build routines that self-sustain even when you and the team are down.

Excellence does not require huge improvement leaps. More often, excellence is built on incremental improvements that over time add up to something big. And that’s why our Lighthouse, operating rhythms, and management system are so important.

Action without thinking is aimless. Thinking without action is lifeless.

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