This morning I went for my ritual breakfast at one of those family owned places which serves two pound omelets and coffee for a ridiculously low price. As I paid my check at the cash register, the owner’s son Milo commented, “it's like summer out there!” I smiled and looked out the window. Behind him in the parking lot was a pile of snow twenty feet high and because we were experiencing thirty five degree weather the pavement was wet. Considering it was eight below zero just a couple of days ago it’s understandable how thirty five degrees can feel considerably warmer, but to call it summerlike rather amazed me. It made me think about how people adjust to current climates and conditions whether they are environmental or economic.
This observation reminds me of my clients when they tell me how summery their results are or how warm their culture is and how their management teams are in hot pursuit of their results. I smile, and ask them what standard of success are they using for this euphoric view of their business and organization? When my clients articulate their view of what they consider to be success in their businesses, the picture from my seat is quite different. I hear about the recession and its impact, and unrealistic customer expectations. I’m told how the management teams have gone through a lot and are just getting their feet back under them so we shouldn’t be too critical. There are many rationalizations I am sure you have heard and maybe even have used, but to me it is just redefining the standard of success which can be very harmful to many businesses.
So as you feel the warmth of economic recovery take a look at the standard of success you have put forward to your organization and see if you can find any snow piles.