It’s interesting to listen to people talk. People talk about everything. Lately, in our neck of the woods all the talk has been about the weather, or more distinctly, our lack of weather.
Where is winter? We have had unbelievably warm weather here in Kentucky. It was nearly 60 degrees on Christmas day. You would not believe the statistics people are throwing around about this warm winter. We hear discussions about allergies caused by the weather, bug infestations caused by the weather, slow coffee sales because of the weather. It’s amazing what the weather can do to our day to day lives and yet it is completely out of our control.
It’s interesting to think about what could happen in our businesses if we focused our thoughts and talks and actions with the same intensity we focus on speculating what the weather will be.
We have the ability to plan and forecast for our business’ future. We can free ourselves from the burden of running things on a wing and a prayer. Facing our business’ opportunities head on forces us to prepare, to act, and most importantly to enforce.
It’s all well and good to post a notice, for example, that all Front of the House employees who come to work in wrinkled or soiled uniforms will be sent home. It’s quite another situation to send Sally home when you have a lunch reservation for 35 and she is a key player. Expectations which aren’t enforced can kill productivity. If Sally can wear a dirty uniform, what will motivate Sam to get up 15 minutes early to iron his shirt? Can’t you just see the storm brewing?
Enforcement is the key. What is good (or in this case bad) for the goose must be good for the gander. Be consistent and coach to the expectations. Most of all, lead by example.
Weather forecasting seems like the ultimate job, you have a 50/50 shot, then in reality, you experience without warning, really bad weather. Ultimately, we look to the meteorologist and aim our anger or frustration at them. “Why weren’t we warned?” “Why did this happen today, they forecasted bad weather for tomorrow?”
The same holds true in our businesses. If we don’t plan, prepare, and enforce, then any little shift in the climate affects us. Looking to the customer or to our employees as the source of our business’ shortcomings is as silly as letting a groundhog determine our projections for February.
The weather will change, shadows will come and go. Whether or not you can see your way through the changes will be up to you and your team.