Friday, May 16, 2014

It's Mirror Time

May is about wrapping up the year, but without looking back on what you did, loose ends are left unaddressed.  Loose ends unresolved lead to changes unsustained and improvements overlooked.  That's why May is "Mirror Time".

Reflection is the most important yet most overlooked stage of change.  Think of it this way.  When the power is out when you begin getting ready for work, there is no light; thus, no opportunity to look in the mirror before leaving for work.  Without the opportunity to 'reflect' on the work you have done getting ready to look presentable, you stand a strong chance of showing up to work with one brown shoe and one black shoe.  Your hair could be sticking up in the back.  Your collar could have one side buttoned and one unbuttoned (sadly that happens to me even when the power is on.)

Where is your Organizational Mirror?

In progressive organizations, systems exist where reflection happens frequently.  The more frequent the organization and the staff within the organization examine their products and the processes that create them, the more progress can be made.  Reflection offers opportunity to tweak, revamp and even replace the blemishes we call ineffective actions.  When we reflect, efficiency expands as effectiveness becomes exponential.

The organizational mirror is not found in the leader's office but in every employee's work space and mindset.  At the end of each day, the question should focus on this thought, "How can we get better at doing this?"  Organizational mirrors can't function until the culture is grounded in trust, mutual accountability and positive presuppositions.  From there, everyone can have the confidence to look at the man in the mirror.

Mirrors work Best with Light.

Mirrors are pretty useless when used in the dark.  Organizations must have the light switch on.  Light is created when the school vision and mission work simultaneously together.  If organizations have a working light, they can look more closely in the mirror.  The more commitment to the mission and vision, the brighter the light will shine and the more people will feel compelled to find their blemishes.  Once blemishes and glaring errors are discovered, reflection can commence.  Solutions can surface to remove causal factors that contributed to overwhelming obstacles. 

CLICK HERE for a Google Doc to guide your reflection.

Mirrors + Light = Current Reality

Once you clarify the organization you desire to create, and you design a process to reflect on your progress toward achieving that goal, you are ready to grow.  Without reflection, organizations stagnate.  Without vision, organizations flounder, and without both, cultures crumble.  Take a look in the mirror.  You may not like what you see, but you will definitely see what you need to do to improve the way your organization looks and functions.

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