Friday, May 28, 2010

Looking with Fresh Eyes

In another week, my oldest son will graduate from high school. There’s a lot of excitement and we have been busy getting ready for all of the activities including the prerequisite graduation open house. Recently I was looking at the door that leads to the deck and realized that it had never been painted. In fact, it looked pretty bad. I mentioned it to my wife who said: “it’s looked like that for years, I’ve just gotten used to it.”

My Japanese colleagues have a saying that sometimes you need to look at things through “fresh eyes.” That can mean using a different perspective, like “Is my house ready for a party?” It can also mean having someone else look at your house, organization, or presentation for you and telling you what they see. Chances are they will see things - like an unpainted door - that you miss because when you see them every day they become the norm.

Here is the challenge that I want to throw out to you. Take the holiday weekend off. Enjoy yourself and have some fun. When you come back on Tuesday, try to come in with a new perspective and ask: What does your lobby look like? Is it visitor ready? What does it say about your company? How about your employees? Are they productive? Are they happy to be there? Now think about your policies and processes, are they effective? Do they match the vision that you have for your company?

This is a perfect time to take a fresh look and to make changes.

In the meantime, be certain to do something fun this weekend. I’ll be busy painting a door.

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