Always remember to look backwards

So I’m a pretty keen photographer and one of the tricks I’ve learned over the years is to always look behind you when you are walking along.

You never know what brilliant shot you’ve just walked past because you see it from a different angle.

What on earth has that got to do with management?

One of the things I have learned to do, especially working in change and transformation is to have a method of looking backwards.

At the start of a job I will write down all the things that are wrong, the major issues, annoyances, petty frustrations.

At that point (looking forward) it looks like a massive and daunting mountain to climb.

Because there will be some hard days ahead.

Whenever you are working on any type of project there will always be difficulties ahead of you.

If nothing else there will be a two thirds slump where everyone gets demotivated and can’t see an end in sight.

This is when I bring out my little piece of paper and remind people how far they’ve come.

I remind them that although they are annoyed because they have half a million in uncollected debts, three months ago they had 3 million.

Or that the frustration they feel because it takes 30 minutes to process an auto-invoicing file is fine when you realise that it used to take two days.

Being able to look backwards, from a different angle is really useful motivation.

And at the end…

It’s always good to give your ego a bit of a stroke and show how much good you’ve done for the company.

If you’ve been working for three months or three years on a project you have deserved the chance to celebrate your success.

But you have to have the means to be able to look back.

Why not write your little piece of paper now and in a few months time have a look back and see how well you’ve done?

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