Inspired by the HBR Blog Network post Ironman Competitors Measure Their Performance (And So Should You).
We’ve often heard the buzz phrase “it’s a marathon.. not a sprint..” within our business circles. After having read this HBR blog post, I’d change that phrase to “it’s a triathlon.. not a marathon or a sprint”. If you think about it, not only does a triathlon include a marathon & sprints, but the adverse condition and differing terrains actually lend more to the business cycles & influence from uncontrollable external factors experienced.
In preparing yourself for your next strategic test, keep in mind these three critical tips;
1. Find the right balance for you; I’ve seen time & time again that a simple copy / paste of a best practice or winning strategy does NOT work for every organization. Look at the core concepts at the root of those strategies that have been successful. How do those core concepts relate to the uniqueness of your organization & culture. What adjustments need to me made in order for them to be relevant to you? What adjustments, if any, do you need to make to your own organization before you take the next step? Doing more of the same will give you the same results.. so you’ll need to look inward & analyze your own infrastructure in order to understand what internal adjustments you need to make before moving onto the next stage of preparation for the upcoming race.
2. Mark a start line and finish line; Be painfully honest with your current reality (your current state of being). You can’t start a race until you know and acknowledge your limits before making a strategy to overcome these. Too many organizations have great strategies but lack the operational execution to successfully achieve their desired results. I’ve found that for the majority of these organizations, it’s a simple matter of fewer (not more) key objectives & metrics. Having tangible, relevant milestones that are understood by, and relevant to all within your organization. Everyone needs to understand how they contribute to your success, just like you need to train all of your body parts individually & collectively in order to win a triathlon. Be clear about your current reality, set-up the various pulse-checks & stages you’ll need during the race, and most importantly, make the finish line clear, measurable & attainable. That’s how you bridge your reality to success.
3. Analyze personal data for what’s limiting performance; Look from outside in. Get an experienced facilitator to analyze your organizational health, facilitate your strategic thinking & operational planning. Do your own skills, talent & (most importantly) desire gap analysis in order to properly assess & action all of your organizational (body) parts. Have strong conviction in what you must start, stop, adjust & continue doing. Be brave in making the necessary adjustments, and follow-through with purposeful action. That’s how you win a triathlon.
Insanity; doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results – Albert Einstein