This prolonged sluggish economy has pushed businesses to be more creative in their approach to working with their employees. Creativity is a good thing as it gets us out of our comfort zone and allows us to see other ways of accomplishing the company’s mission.
So, when Jo Anne Couch, author of “Resistance Training: Enriching Values and Trust in Tough Times”, began her article with this statement:
Wise leadership will use the current slow economy as the “resistance”and begin to reorganize their organization toward a stronger culture of values, trust, strategy, and success. It is the perfect time for your business to engage around Resistance Training!
I knew what she was saying even though the word “resistance” implies exactly opposite of what some may perceive. Couch uses the physical therapy she received after a hip replacement as an effective analogy. Her physician stated that she had to rebuild her muscles by using her own body’s weight resistance to create healthier muscles before using the fancy machines to fine tune it.
Much like damaged human muscles, management, Couch states, needs to rebuild its business strengths in the marketplace by using these strategies:
- Meet: Use the “collective wisdom” of your managers and hear their ideas. It’s not business as usual.
- Leap: Ask lots of questions, especially open-ended ones. It may lead to new markets, new product spin-offs and improve the profit margin.
- Coach: Translate the goals and strategies throughout the entire company. Once everyone knows them, trust and understanding develops.
- Quantify: “You simply cannot manage what you do not measure.” Use a trusted standard (such as Baldrige Awards Quality Improvement Processes) to measure your results. Measure your quality efforts and achieve even more productivity and success.
Throughout her treatise, Couch uses the term “push against” as the thread of her resistance training analogy. It’s a good one, too.
I know resistance training well. I had intense physical therapy several years ago for my knees inflamed with patellar tendonitis stemming from thousands of miles on my road bike. The resistance training, through countless repetitions. was agonizing.
Sometimes, I wondered if it was worth it until a year later when all that work (and some bike saddle adjustments) had me back on the road pedaling with two healthy, rehabilitated knees. All that “resistance” and “pushing” made a difference and saved my bicycling addiction.
The author says it best:
Ask any Ironman why he or she engages in resistance training! They know that on competition daytimes may be tough – winds may kick up, rain may fall, and the water may be choppy-but they have prepared for years for that day. That preparation results in their being one of the world’s finest athletes. Is your organization- your business-an Ironman? Are you ready for this race day that has thrown some surprises your way? Have you completed resistance training?
This new international business world and its seemingly never-ending recession has accelerated the demands for creativity, efficiency, coaching, and high standards of quality. Toss out the old ways of managing lest you hang a “Closed” sign on the entrance.
Resistance training works for hip replacements, overworked knees and limping businesses rebuilding their segment in the marketplace.
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