In the last few months I’ve been trying to think positively about how to change some things for good (benefit), and for good (forever), post-covid. How do I make changes and make them stick… 

I’ve never been good at New Year resolutions, or particularly good at sticking to new regimes like diets or using new productivity tools etc. But I have been able to achieve some new success in 2020 (e.g. with fitness and weight loss) in areas that I have for some time been pretty negative about doing. 

So I wondered what it was that had helped to make this work once and for all, and it was not difficult to see the simple conclusion – I was less busy and not able to go anywhere. I had more time. With more time and less to do I was able to focus more clearly on what I really needed to do, plus I was not able to distract myself by being ‘busy’ or having a deadline or needing to travel etc… I had run out of excuses. 

Thankfully I’m getting a bit busier work-wise now, but what is important is that I’ve been able to keep going with running, eating and drinking less etc, as part of my normal routine. I had made the change and it’s sticking. None of this is new in terms of how we should focus and improve – there are container-shiploads of motivational books out there that will give you similar messages, but which very often fall on deaf ears or gather dust on shelves. 

From a Service Management perspective, this has also made me think about what sort of advice to be giving out to clients and the wider industry, particularly at this time – I’ve boiled it down to this – DO LESS… 

Listen to your customers – take time to actually go and listen to what they have to say, their issues and ideas, not just talking to them but letting them speak and listen. Ask them about their work and their frustrations, as well as what is great about the service that you provide. You will learn a lot about them and how to make the service work better, and you can use this knowledge to improve what you and your team are doing.

Embrace automation – relax, automation is there to free your time up, not to replace you. Time spent on getting rid of some of the least attractive and also most time consuming tasks is well spent.  Automation is also not just about removing or automating work, there are more opportunities to expand and offer new services.

Support your people – now is the time when people need people, even if its at the end of a phone or TEAMs call. As leaders and managers we must step up to serve and support the people who work for us, work with us, and rely on us for their mortgages and sense of worth. We need to invest as much as we can in our people right now to build their long term future as well as our own – its all joined up. 

Everything is actually joined up – that’s another observation from this last year – the inter-connectivity of things is there for all to see, from jobs and culture to finance, business, health, social harmony and our personal lives. We need to contribute positively to the well-being of all those around us – socially distanced of course – in order to maintain the fabric of our society as well as our work.

Show leadership and good governance – as mentioned, now is the time for leadership and initiative – not just ‘management’. We need good examples set and displayed in work and beyond, focused on facts and data, logic and learning, as a means to make good decisions, to be inspired and generally to survive, thrive and prosper.  We also need to build more sustainability into what we do – from sustainable, resilient services, to sustainable businesses that can withstand ever changing conditions and challenges. Ultimately this comes back to how resilient we are in our own way of doing things – can we adapt and change, look at new ways of living and working, or are we just stuck in an old groove..?

Time has been our scarcest resource over recent years and we can all be busy and active running around not achieving anything – hopefully we can learn to change and move on.

DO LESS –  ACHIEVE MORE