2020 has stretched individuals and organizations to their full capacity.
Unfortunately, the countless challenges won’t disappear when Dec. 31 rolls over into Jan. 1, 2021. The issues exposed over the last year will require new answers as individuals and organizations are held to a higher standard. The bright side of 2021 rests on the abundant opportunity for individuals and organizations who self-select to add value and solve real-life problems. These matters are every bit as advertised: complex, demanding and numerous. It’s unrealistic to address all these struggles while continuing business as usual. There needs to be a practical
As the world moves more quickly, individuals and organizations believe they have to take immediate action with no time to slow down. This is false. This is precisely the time to take an intentional corporate “bye week” to make sure they’re strategically positioning themselves for the best moving forward.
A bye week is a sports term where teams have a mandatory, preplanned week away from competition during the middle of the season. High-performance athletes and sports teams use this time to accurately evaluate what they need to correct for the remainder of the season, rest to heal any mental or physical ailments, and prepare to close out the season at the highest form of their potential. Since bye weeks are planned and mandatory, everyone in the organization is in sync at the same time. During a typical regular season, NFL teams get one week off during a 17-week season which runs from the second week in September to the first week in January. Using this analogy, organizations would have three corporate bye weeks to model out a full calendar year. Scaled down to realistic terms, this would be a four-day weekend running from Thursday to start back Monday.
It may seem unrealistic to carve out time away from work, but there are no pre-established rules or best practices moving forward. Every organization is tasked with rewriting the rules that give them the best chance of success. External industries often provide answers to internal challenges by revealing alternative solutions.
Slow down and course correct
It’s hard to carve out time when there’s always another project, another fire to put out, endless pressures. There’s always something. The daily grind rarely allows for time to slow down in deep thought for an accurate assessment to course correct. It’s crucial to stay up-to-date on what’s essential. Slowing down helps individuals and organizations take inventory to discover hidden opportunities while others miss them with their heads down racing forward. The time spent is never wasted. That time is strategically positioning individuals and organizations to change their trajectory. Course correction is increasingly vital because missteps are magnified and extremely difficult to repair.
It isn’t normal for the human body to power through everything. Resilience (the 2020 buzzword) has its place, but so does the ability to stop and recharge. Burnout, mental health struggles, Zoom fatigue and work-life imbalance are common themes from 2020, but the reality is they’ve always been there. Many people are working harder with less structure than pre-pandemic. No one is immune to it.
Oftentimes, people avoid sharing their troubles for fear of being judged, burdening or showing weakness. Resources are often underutilized. It’s hard to visually identify who needs help. Yes, employees are free to take sick days and personal time off, but teams rarely recharge simultaneously. As a result, employees peak and crash at different times. This staggered recovery is problematic for individuals required to work in teams. The ability to think at a high level for strenuous work diminishes when employee wellness lags. Individuals can’t compartmentalize and perform when their minds and bodies are not at full capacity.