Thursday, 5 March 2015

Where are your hard efforts getting you?

Spinning class or Bike ride?


Whilst stopping (or even slowing down!) doesn't come naturally to me I recently found myself suggeting to a group of managers that they: Stop/slow down, reflect, and thoughtfully respond to matters rather than reacting to them.

So, what's that got to do with 'spinning class or bike ride'? I hear you say!

Well, here's the thing.
Of course, there are similarities between these activities - both are forms of excerise, both have the potential to make you sweat, both involve you taking a seat, both require a cycling motion. But, there is one big difference - only one will actually take you somewhere!

Imho....Sometimes we are so busy, doing so much doing that we actually end up going nowhere (or at least feeling like we're going nowhere) - a bit like being on an excercise bike where you're spinning but staying in the same place.
Whereas, if you're out cycling, there are a wider range of benefits - for example:
- There's a greater focus on the journey, rather than just the activity itself.
- We may see other things happening around us, and can even stop to take them in.
- We're breathing in fresh air on the way (London may be an exception I know!)

A spin class is mainly about working hard, going (nowhere) fast. A cycle ride doesn't necessarily mean going slow - but you can chose and vary the pace; and it is about going somewhere, ideally with purpose*.

This group of managers had been spinning really hard but weren't getting the improvement levels/recognition that their efforts might deserve. There can be so much good stuff going on but because there's no break to communicate until the end, all your efforts might have little reach/impact.

There is a place and a benefit for peddling furiously and building up a sweat (in business terms: when there's a crisis for example) - however, I'd just suggest that if you really want to go places, it's often not the best use of your energy.
*And there's a place for no purpose too, eg when looking for innovation!

So, think about it - right now, do you actually need to...

Think about the destination (vision/aims), the pitstops you may need to make (have a plan), stop at red lights and reflect, look at how far you've come, and ideally enjoy the ride with others. You might even want to get off the road, get on your mobile, and tell everyone what you're doing as you go. (PS - Pictures and/ stories help!)

For the record, despite admitting earlier that slowing down/stopping doesn't come naturally to me, I do practice what I preach when I can and can tell you there really are real benefits to doing it...
  • So the questions is:
What approach do you and your organisation take/need to take?
Do you want/need to work up a sweat at a Spinning class or do you want/need to go on a paced, purpose-full Bike ride?

Thanks for reading, I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Denise x

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