A pretty dull topic. But interesting…
One which my accountant husband says I need to do more of for my business. The more he pushes me, advises me, pleads with me to do it… the more I dig my heels in!
I am not sure why…
I think about my time as a Management Consultant, I think about my time leading several Agile Scrum teams – the first questions I would ask my teams was ‘where are we against the plan? What are we currently tracking as actuals against the forecasted plan?’. At the end of each day, week, month, we would have a clear picture on what we had spent, what we had achieved and would map that against the plan.
Reviewing the plan vs actuals we could work out what we would need to do to get back on track. Did we need to shift time, scope, cost or quality? What was my communication strategy – raise or lower expectations?
We would also reflect on the actuals and what improvements or changes we could make as a team– what was going well, what wasn’t going so well – what did we need to do more of, less of or keep doing to make us improve, get better results?
I think about the time when I was trying to shift my baby weight and I set a goal to get fit and healthy again. I went to the gym and worked with a trainer and a nutritionist over an intense 6 week period. Part of that was keeping a food diary.
I would track what I ate, drank, the exercise I did. I was weighed and measured, pinched and prodded… and all the results were recorded.
Again at the end of each week, we would review the results and ask the questions – ‘Where are we against the plan? What went well? What didn’t go so well?’… we tracked my measurements and results and we reviewed my food diary.
We worked out I was eaten lots of fruit, but the wrong fruit – high in sugar which meant I kept a little ring of fat around my middle. We switched them for berries and nuts… If I had eaten chocolate or biscuits or food that didn’t fuel me – we asked why? Was I tired, bored, greedy?! What could I do to change that? Drink a glass of water? Look at a photo of how I wanted to look again? Eat dark chocolate if I needed a chocolate fix… If I missed a training session or a run – why was that? If I was tired – was it lack of sleep or lack of energy fueling food? We worked out that I didn’t eat enough good carbs, so we introduced brown rice and sweet potatoes on the days that I trained. We also worked out that I needed protein at breakfast and the introduction of my power berry vanilla breakfast shake was introduced and my morning productivity sky rocketed – no longer will I eat toast or a croissant!
So this year – I have started a tracker for my business….
May be I have refused for so long as I already know what it will show me… or maybe it won’t? But at least now that I am tracking my plan against actuals, I will be able to ask those questions – what is going well, what isn’t going so well? What can I do more of, less of, do the same…
I remember hearing the phrase that the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting different results…
The first thing to change is awareness… Awareness of what is going on. Awareness of what is right or wrong, what is good and what is bad…
Once you are aware, you can make the conscious decision to change.
Sometimes, perhaps it is the knowledge of what awareness will show is what frightens us and that holds us back. Once we are aware, you have to face into it.
Ignorance is bliss for only a short while.
Awareness can lead to greatness.
I am tracking myself to greatness!
This blog was inspired by a photograph the headmaster at my son’s school tweeted today!