I have a picture of the jetty at Anakiwa in the Marlborough Sounds as my screensaver.
I find myself looking at it a couple of times a day and I have noticed that during these moments I will generally do two things.
I will reflect on what has happened over the past couple of hours, couple of days or maybe the last couple of months. Then I find myself looking ahead at what is to come in the future, which might be the rest of the day or the week, or even where I want to be in a year’s time.
I find this practice is critical not just in helping me in my job and personal life but also in our clients' businesses. I guess the lesson is, if you aren’t taking a moment to reflect on business and where you have been, it is hard to know where you are going next and how you are going to get there.
By looking back, you can have the benefit of learning from the mistakes made in the past or you can focus on those things that have been successful.
This can be done any number of ways in a business context. It may involve reviewing a number of KPI’s over a period, reviewing past financials, or even taking a customer/employee survey.
The question then to ask is, do you know where your business is going? Do you monitor your performance, do you have targets? Do you know what your industry is doing? This is where we find a lot of businesses struggle. Their passion and knowledge of their product or their service is immense but they cannot see the path they need to follow and they don’t know how to access the tools that will allow them to find that path.