5 bad reasons for standing still

Let's cut to the chase. Why stand still in your business?

1. There's too much going on. All the more reason to move forward. When there's a lot happening, you need to move your business and workforce forward. You need to maximize your performance so that you can more effectively handle a lot more business.

2. There's not enough going on. So, why bother, right? Wrong. A lull in your schedule (and hopefully it's seasonal and not that your business is being passed over) isn't time for a rest. It's time to plan and prepare. You are lucky if you have a little breathing room and you can make sure the important things in your business that are often overlooked in busy times can be tackled.

3. Someone is chasing me. You hear footsteps behind you? Is that a good time to stand still. We're not dinosaurs, you know. We're businesses and standing still makes you a target for someone who isn't. What separates you from the competition? Figure that out and then cultivate it and move it forward whether it’s a product or a team.

4. No one's chasing me. There are two reasons for this: your business is the gold standard and no one can touch you - the Coca-Cola of your industry - OR your competitors are going around you, over you or through you. If it's the former, congratulations. If it's anything else, you need to stop standing still and start chasing someone. If you stand still, you are losing ground every day.

5. We can't find the map or in the words of Yogi Berra: "we don't know where we're going but we're making great time." Don't worry, you're probably like many companies trying to navigate a changing business climate. An important part of that dynamic is a workforce that is capable of handling the technology today's businesses must master to compete. From desktop apps to proprietary systems, your business must be technologically astute to hold your own with your competition. A workforce that can't use the tools, can't dig you out of the recession.

Most of these reasons have been used by businesses as an explanation for delaying, denying or deferring training.

All of these are common refrains but the most prevalent is: "We're too busy."

In reality, a busy season should be a significant motivator to improving employee performance. Better-trained employees waste less time, perform more efficiently, get more done. Sounds good to me.

I have often seen companies spend millions on new systems and then cut the training budget to save $10K. Not surprisingly, the new system never exactly manages to produce the expected results.

Technology has made training today a much more viable and affordable options for companies of all sizes. Inexpensive webinars, targeted training sessions, tip sheets and one-on-one online support are all elements of an effective training strategy.

What isn’t effective is standing still.

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