One of the big challenges of tackling a major project relates to vitality. When we set out to tackle something new, be it a hobby, a job, a long walk, a marriage or something other 'project'; we generally start with much hope and anticipation. However, over time, we can get a little stale, as the rigours and routines of the daily grind take precedence in our mind over the goal that we set out to achieve. Sound familiar?
Regular readers will know that I've been working on a major research project in early 2012. The good news is that the end is now in sight. However, there is still much to do and the risk of getting stale is never far away. One of the techniques that I have used to keep fresh is to change the focus temporarily—by helping others solve gnarly real-world problems. Today for example, I had the privilege of working with a group of directors and a manager—helping them wrestle with their business, to try to get some clarity around core purpose and strategic priorities. The Chair's closing comment, "the morning was incredibly worthwhile", suggested that progress had been made. Next week, I have an independent review of another board to do. That board has some interesting challenges around focus; role; and, interaction with the Chief Executive.
Small 'side' projects keep me mentally fresh. They get me out of the office and away from the routine of the research. Sitting with real people, and helping them wrestle with real problems, is so invigorating. Crucially, when I return to the research, I feel sharper and seem to work more effectively. How do you freshen up?
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.