My knee was killing me. I tried everything: rest, ice, compression, elevation, sports-physio, Google/YouTube research, etc. Despite exhausting all resources, the pain would not subside and I had fallen victim to the double-edged sword of physical activity: health benefits vs. nagging injuries.
Orthopedic specialists had suggested the injury had come as a result of my feet: insufficient footwear caused the body to walk off balance, thus, creating tension in my knee and leading to injury. Several physiotherapists had suggested it was as a result of weak quadriceps, thus, causing my knees to bear more of the impact when running which should, ideally, be absorbed by stronger quads. My physician had suggested it was a result of improper desk posture: related back pain leading to misalignment issues which forced pressure on the knees. Massage therapists were stunned by the tension in my calves and suggested this was a contribution to the knee pressure. Interestingly enough, all theories related the cause of the injury to a form of imbalance or misalignment of the greater ‘system’.
STRIVE FOR HOMEOSTASIS:
stealing a chapter from the science books
As with our physical health, businesses are often driven into a state of imbalance — we conduct the same routine on a day-to-day basis under the impression that our collective activities are improving business results and leading to success. However, routine — if not regularly calibrated — is dangerous. As the list of to-do’s increases, focus shifts from an ‘improvement’ mindset to a ‘completion’ mindset and negates the very purpose of daily activity in the first place: achieving business progress. Although performing a particular task, tactic, activity, etc. may be part of achieving the overall bill of good health, over-emphasis or neglect can put a strain on other parts of the business ‘body’ and lead to strategic misalignment. Herein lies the importance of having a visual (on paper, online, both) strategy. Make it a habit to develop a formal strategy so that all aspects of your business are working in a state of consistent balance. Defining and illustrating purpose, priorities, direction and timing are the secrets to advancement (as well as optimizing time, money and resources).
DON’T SKIP LEG DAY:
every part of the body demands exercise
Improvement is a continuous state, not a finite destination. Like the body, business health can only be realized when all of its moving parts, functions, systems, etc. are in a state of constant exercise. Unfortunately, most companies restrict their time and resources to one or two key functions/activities, that is, until a metaphorical injury forces owners/management to divert attention. Your strategy is of no use if you do not have the proper strength and fortitude to deploy it. Be sure to exercise all parts of the business body regularly — not just the parts that come naturally. Your company can’t afford to have ‘favorite child’ syndrome. Every facet requires consistent assessment and a related plan for improvement. Make it a habit to focus on a new aspect of your business each month (i.e. money-month, people-month, technology-month, etc.). Define 2 priorities and apply a deadline for completion. Now, do it.
EAT ENOUGH PROTEIN:
business nutrition — "you are what you eat"
Furthermore, a business—like a body—can only function properly as a result of external factors and the inputs which ensure its very survival.
Clients/consumers/patients are the very sources of oxygen which enable a company to breathe. Do you have the right clients?
Suppliers and the greater economy are the water required to ensure sustainability. Are you working with the right partners in the right channels and/or jurisdictions?
Employees are the brain of the business anatomy; do they buy-in to the mission and do you compensate them well?
The product/service offering is the backbone of your business. Do you invest enough capital and resources into development and improvement projects?
The brand is the very heart that transmits the company’s blood (purpose) throughout the body. Do you have a brand strategy with prescriptive actions and quantifiable metrics?
You are what you eat. Quick fixes, patch-up process repairs, fragmented technology, disengaged employees, and erratic spending are all examples of junk food in the realm of business nutrition. Make it a habit to take a closer look at your company’s ‘eating habits’ — it may be time to increase your protein intake.
TRUST IN MORE THAN YOURSELF:
the importance of qualified experts & scheduled check-ups
So, then, what are you and your team doing every day? Are you doing the right things? What is your over-arching purpose and what are you trying to, collectively, accomplish? Are you too busy servicing clients to find new (more profitable) ones? Are you spending time and money on the highest return activities? Are you too focused on finishing daily tasks rather than on improving daily processes? When last did you do a census check on the morale of your people? Does the hand talk to the foot? Are the brain and heart in harmony? Is your backbone aligned? Are systems in balance?
When we have a health issue, we contact a doctor. When we have an unbalanced financial portfolio, we seek out accredited investment advisors. Who is diagnosing the health of your business? If the answer is yourself, make it a habit to seek out additional expertise to identify the ailing injuries of your business and help improve its overall health. Remember, qualified support is a wise investment — not a line-item cost.