“Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.”
~ Albert Einstein
Identifying the Problem: What Isn’t Working?
The quotation above is often used to justify frequent changes of direction and it certainly fuels ‘shiny-object syndrome’ because after all, if what I’m doing doesn’t deliver the results I’m hoping for, then Einstein tells me I should do something else and, of course, he’s one of the smartest people who ever lived!
Let’s just step back for a moment… We’re talking about business and life, not science.
If I’m trying to solve a scientific or engineering problem this advice holds true. It’s also the rationale behind marketing split tests… But there is an important factor that it doesn’t address: trust and relationship-building and many business owners, sales professionals, and even teachers give up on the cusp of breakthrough.
You need to start by identifying the real problem: what isn’t working?
Do I Need to Change My Strategy or Tactics?
I was talking to Sam, a sales manager, a few weeks ago and he was ready to admit failure. “My team just can’t hit their targets and my manager is saying that it’s my fault. I don’t know what else to tell them that will change the results,” he told me.
As we analysed the situation it became clear that his focus on building up his team and the activities he had invested time and energy in were delivering results and a change of track would set him back. If he wanted to accelerate his results he needed to do more of the things that were already working. This was not the situation that Einstein was talking about.
The thing that he needed to do was to determine whether he could do more of what was working rather than change track. Because of my extensive experience with sales teams we were able to identify two needle-moving activities that could leverage the foundations he had already put in place and deliver quick results and Sam was up for the challenge. Rather than admitting failure or changing his strategy, he simply decided to implement these acceleration tactics.
Don’t Quit! You’re on the Verge of Success.
Sam was feeling as though nothing he did was working and he thought about changing direction, but when he analysed the situation he realised that his best course was to amp up the things he was already doing.
What about you?
Are you taking the much quoted advice out of context?
I’m the first person to tell clients when they need to change their approach, but not before we’ve analysed their goals, actions, and results in the light of business best practices. Sometimes clients don’t have the data they need to make a wise decision about how to move forward. In most cases, the best strategy is to wait and collect the information you need but that is not always good enough. The challenge is deciding what to do when your resources are already stretched thin anyway because you can’t keep doing what you are already doing, and instigate a new direction simultaneously.
How Can I Tell the Difference?
Metrics are key. Lack of information creates confusion because your ‘thoughts’ about what is working and what is not working are often wrong.
In our 13-week Profitable Business Accelerator we spent some time with each student determining what are the most appropriate metrics for their business (different businesses need to measure some different things) and deciding how to make those metrics visible to yourself and your team. Assuming that you have a solid basis for your activity selection and core strategy, it’s not until you have data to back it up that you can decide whether it’s time to persevere and ramp up your efforts, or change direction and try something new.
Need Some Help?
Need some help with determining what you need to change if you hope to experience the satisfaction and success you deserve this year? A HOWTO Session provides you with the clarity you need to uncover your own blind spots and move forward with confidence and determination knowing whether you should persevere or change direction.
Book Your H.O.W.T.O. Session Today! – Link to https://lifepuzzle.com.au/book-your-h-o-w-t-o-session/