MAINTAINING BALANCE IN TIMES OF PROSPERITY
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When your organization’s existence isn’t threatened, it’s nearly as difficult to maintain balance, as it is to right the ship when things are clearly out of alignment.
How to maintain balance in times of prosperity:
Schedule time to question whether you are keeping your organization aligned:
- Core: Are people showing up in alignment with core values? Are they living them?
- Survival: Is the most important objective within the company clear? Are decisions being made in alignment with what is essential for the company thrive?
- HumanPower: Are the right people on your team, in the right roles and properly trained?
- FeedBack: Is the company achieving its key results?
- FrontLines: Is the company consistently delivering value for its core customers?
Establish a team of employees whose job is to play devil’s advocate and assess the alignment one to four times per year.
If frustration returns, look at the struggles you’re having. The root cause is likely some sort of misalignment within the organization.
Dealing with reality using your positive relationship with feedback helps you to understand why things are turning in wrong direction. The numbers might not show a problem but do the measurements reflect reality?
Make sure you are functioning well.
Know yourself by asking what is essential to your well-being. Have a healthy state of awareness.
By asking objective questions you engage the higher or “executive brain” which is better than activating the lower portion (amygdala) which activates the fight or flight behavior by secreting cortisol that raises the stress level for you and everyone around you. Cortisol also makes it harder for your higher brain to think clearly.
If you are balanced, you are more open to feedback. Using that feedback helps you keep objectively evaluating yourself and your business.
What suggestions do you have for maintaining balance in times of prosperity?
About Alex Vorobieff
Alex Vorobieff is a business turnaround specialist, working to implement Business Alignment Tools for their specific needs. Alex has served as clean-up CFO and president of companies in telecommunications, aviation, aerospace, and real estate development, leading successful turnarounds in as little as three months. He shares his how-tos and techniques through Confident ROi magazine and his latest book, Transform Your Company: Escape Frustration, Align Your Business, and Get Your Life Back.
This sounds like a book that would be good to read in either good times or bad. I’d love to receive a copy!
Establishing a team to play devil’s advocate 4 times per year: How would that work? What benefits would the team get from this exercise?
Everyday I ask myself three questions. .
1. Am I focused on the right things?
2. Am I using my resources in the most productive way?
3. Do I have alignment with what I think, say, and do?
When prosperity flourished it important to make sure you are focused on strengthening foundation as well as pushing for more growth. Continue to train on the basics, checking on the standard checklist.. we become overconfident then too late realize we’ve stepped away from the values and practices that brought success
Thanks for the post! Am interested in receiving a copy of the book. 🙂 thank you!
Good morning Dan;
Avoiding stagnation during good times requires purpose. I believe this must begin during the hiring process. Leaders and HR need to identify applicants with job history that consistently looks for next/best practices.
Selecting a diverse employee base is a must. Otherwise you end up with like minded employees with similar or nearly same ideas that can often lead to stagnation.
Thus approach also works well when considering Team Building.
Gota go Dan, time to go to work.
Cheers my friend,
Sounds like a good book in any time (good/bad times and transforming times) including business transformation as we all hear we need to continue to transform to remain competitive in our business lines.
The reality of the frustration is that it seems to never get addressed, that is why a book like this would be invaluable to any organization going through change and looking to better itself.
Analyzing and keeping balance in prosperity to avoid troubleshooting during caos. I would like to receive a copy.
Very interesting… who would the devil’s advocate team consist of?
Complacency can be a silent killer. Often the rate of change in our world today pushes an unhealthy pace. I like the balance aspect which means digging a little deeper to make sure the values, right people, and focus are centered properly.
I wonder if the alignment with core values is where things fall over. If you’re making a ton of money, it must be hard to not chase even more money…
Our company is significantly growing and our departmental structure changing. This book sounds like it would help me to keep my team working together through the challenges of change as well as hopefully help me create a better work/life balance!
Addressing the misalignment that often happens both during prosperity and hard times is key.The 10th Core Value from Google struck a chord in me, which in part reads:
“Great just isn’t good enough.
We see being great at something as a starting point, not an endpoint. We set ourselves goals we know we can’t reach yet, because we know that by stretching to meet them we can get further than we expected. Through innovation and iteration, we aim to take things that work well and improve upon them in unexpected ways.
Ultimately, our constant dissatisfaction with the way things are becomes the driving force behind everything we do.”
If a team or company changes their focus to appreciating where they are, yet never being fully satisfied, great things will constantly be accomplished.
I am in a new leadership position within my organization and have a TEAM of 6 to lead! I am thrilled, excited, nervous….wanting to succeed even in the face of failure, because let’s face it failure is inevitable and to say it won’t happen is not realistic. I would love to receive a copy of this book!
It can be easy to relax when things are going well and lose focus. Sounds like an excellent read to help maintain focus and alignment within an organization.
I love the idea of “Establish a team of employees whose job is to play devil’s advocate and assess the alignment one to four times per year”. Very interesting!
Quoting: “Schedule time to question whether you are keeping your organization aligned: …” I have a real problem with the phrase, “you are keeping.” For me at least, a far better phrase to use would be “you are making sure your employees are included in efforts to keep.”
Your book(s) would be a God send for me and the company I work for as I am uncertain if our team can show up aligned with the core values as they may not know what they are, nor is it clear to us what the most important objective within the company is – other than make money and a profit.I am a fan of respectfully asking devils advocate questions currently and it is not well received and I would like to learn how to influence leadership and participate in a healthy devils advocate team. I am looking forward to reading your book!
Good stuff – thanks for sharing!
This would be a great book for any business owner to read. Even managers could learn a lot from it. These thoughts and ideas will keep you on track to be a servant leader and a humble person to your employees and customers. Thank you.
Good Morning. Those 5 questions really got me thinking today. This is a book I will definitely need to read.
Interesting point on the difficulty to remain balance in properous times. We all have different context around this, so my thoughts may not reflect many realities.
I often feel that many cycles in businesses are created by those businesses. We seem to love to tinker. I see examples of businesses who loosen and tighten their belts with enough inaccuracy to create these cycles, and then they blame the situation for the cycles or just accept these cycles exist..
In a few industries when times are good the “qualifications” for customers are loosened, and then difficulties arise due to the “loose” business, which causes overcorrecting on the tight side of things, which in time brings back the need to loosen up,
If you steer your car by looking only at the hood, it’s easy to continuously adjust the steering and oversteer. You can keep a car straight when oversteering by just oversteering the other direction sooner. If I overcorrect before I cross the yellow line, I’ll stay away from it. If I do it again before I cross the white line, I stay away from it. So it can be done.
I’ll just need to spend more resources on “predictive” models to help me oversteer sooner.
or be open to possibilities to change.
I enjoyed the brief comments on stress and balance making it more difficult to effectively think and see more solutions and options. So true!
I am intrigued by the possibility of turning an organization around in months and look forward to reading more about it.
GREAT! People would not want to know what you feel, imagine or know until they realized and confirmed you care about them… In terms of prosperity, To maintain a solid balance, you got to obey the rule of #humility thereby serving, giving attention not selling it, care and willing to lift the least in the team to adapt to the principles; being empathetic and encouraging to help pursue and build their goals to achieve it. Prosperity doesn’t tally with mediocrity or excuse ’cause it’s obvious you know where you’re going and hope to be tomorrow. #Timing #Prosperity #Process #People
So often companies need a “burning platform “ to ask these questions. The “devil’s advocate “ approach is an interesting approach.
I love to receive these messages each day. Would love to read this book!
I think that maintaining balance is just simply hard, whether in business or the personal life. Balance cannot be left to its own devices. You need to monitor and constantly adjust, just like a gymnast on a balance beam. This is an intimidating truth, however once you build a habit of inspection and adaptation, it gets easier and becomes a way of life. Also, being a devil’s advocate is something I value highly in a person, as long as the devil knows the details and is speaking from strength.
“Schedule time to question whether you are keeping your organization aligned.” Being intentional about doing the important-but-not-urgent things like this is so critical to sustained success!
So many companies have Core Values but don’t really use them as hire/fire/manage standards. I believe it starts with the leadership team revisiting what the REAL core values are for a company or organization and then see if your team aligns with those values and then if they do, are they in the right seat on the bus? Sounds like Alex’s book would be a good read!!
Looking forward to the read.
“Have a healthy state of awareness.” Easy to say, hard to do!
This stands out to me, “If you are balanced, you are more open to feedback. Using that feedback helps you keep objectively evaluating yourself and your business.” But to be balanced you have to have control of your own life, enough sleep, manage stress, be calm, approach challenges in a calm manner and absolutely treat others as you want to be treated. I’ve found the older I get and more “seasoned” the better I am able to balance life and the challenges presented.
Uncommon list, but I’m interested. Nice.
could not agree more, have seen several companies/businesses, lose their edge when they get successful. keeping a balance is so very important. thanks for your insight.
Alex, thank you for a great and timely post! Your focus on goal congruence, team alignment, and living out corporate values are essential to success — especially when there are no pending crises to threaten viability or survival. During those times, it’s all too easy to drift ever so slightly from a comfortable, but evolving, status quo. As a growing, small company, we’re in the midst of clarifying our values, culture, policies, processes, and communications — with an objective of providing consistently excellent services to our customers, maintaining a solid reputation for high quality and integrity, and fostering a great place for great people to work. Your book will be a valuable piece of that effort. All the best!
I like Duane also would like more information on “Establishing a team to play devil’s advocate 4 times per year: How would that work? What benefits would the team get from this exercise?” I like the idea of incorporating and wonder what it looks like in action. Thank you!
I’d love to receive a copy! It would be useful in my daily life at work 🙂
Great perspective. It looks like some very practical ways to help us.
This is a fabulous insight into how to take preventative measures to consider these things without a crisis. It is certainly relevant to government agencies who can become complacent due to the enduring nature of their existence.
I believe to find balance you need to celebrate the wins of today, be aware that they may not be the same tomorrow, challenge yourself and team to vision different futures and be open to opportunity
I would like to have a copy of this book. Anyone sincerely interested in the well-being of their organisation must have practical tips readily available.
Keep the broader picture in mind and always try to be ready for bad times to come. Most important would be to take good care of the top performing individuals/teams so that their motivation to continue working in tough times is well maintained.
You had me at ‘get your life back’. New to leadership and wondering if I’m ever going to regain a sense of balance in my life.
In times of prosperity it is very easy and usual to forget that prosperity doesn’t last forever. You should always have an emergency plan, just in case. This preparation makes the planning feel safe and safety brings in trust and trust breeds motivation. Also planning well in advance makes the daily decisions much safer and aligned with both core values and immediate objectives.
Preparation and planning in advance should be revisited regularly to make sure, that the boat stays aligned with the main objective and targets. Also, the values should be revisited and enforced every now and then: there are only few things in life which do not change with time and even fewer in business. 😉
It seems it holds great content I would like to read it
Feast or famine….Learn to roll with the punches!
survival, core values, self awareness, Tell me more.
These are great questions to consider – and the executive management team should think about these annually when times are good and more often in times of turmoil. I am very interested in learning more!
Great post, I bet is book is inspirational and will keep you focusing in the right direction for your company.
I like the idea of creating a team of devil’s advocates – but – that assignment should be on a rotational basis so you don’t have a team always searching for the wrong in the organization. The Navy SEALs did something similar in the 1980’s when they formed a team assessing security on bases and operations.
This guidance is just as valid for one’s personal life has it is for one’s professional life!
ALWAYS looking for new perspectives and insights into leadership. I think this book would be a good addition to the professional development library.
Love the comment about self-awareness being one of the keys to well-being. I know at times when I am not functioning at my best, often it is because I am not taking care of myself and ignore the warning signs my body is giving.