What happens when a deer first catches the scent or sound of a hunter? It freezes. Why does the deer freeze? Because motion would catch the hunter’s eye and make the deer’s presence obvious. To hide in plain sight, the deer needs to be motionless.
What about things that hide in plain sight in our businesses? Procedures, practices, and policies that undermine our success? How do we catch sight of things that are so much a part of our daily routine that they, like the deer, blend into the landscape?
“Never let a good crisis go to waste,” said Winston Churchill, to which I would add, “Never let a good transition go to waste,” either. Transitions are motions that make things visible that were not visible while they were motionless. Let me give you an example.
Recently, several members of one of our clients’ board of directors completed their terms of service. Three new board members took their places. Six transitions not to be wasted!
When a board member leaves, or an employee leaves your company, that transition should trigger an exit interview. Exit interviews recognize that an exit is a significant transition and a one-time-only opportunity to get frank feedback from someone who might have been reluctant to be blunt while they were still a part of the organization.
Board member exit interviews focus on experiences while serving on the board that were positive and experiences which were not, and on guidance for their successor. In your business, when an employee or a volunteer leaves, you can extract the last bit of value from that relationship with an exit interview that might reveal important facts about your business that might never be discovered any other way.
When a new member joins your board, or an employee joins your company, that transition should trigger a “fresh eyes” conversation. A new board member will see things in their first meeting that a veteran might dismiss as routine. In your business a new employee relationship puts “fresh eyes” on your firm and may reveal problems or opportunities that were hiding in plain sight, but only if you ask.
Whenever something changes it gives us an opportunity to illuminate teachable moments that help us improve our services to our members. We hope you will join us in never letting a good transition go to waste.