“If you knew Time as I do,” said the Hatter, “you wouldn’t talk about wasting it.”
Time. Or lack of it. It’s one of our most precious resources. And, being in such short supply for most of us, it’s also the main reason why Things Don’t Change.
Breaking out of a cycle of ceaseless tail-chasing to effect some real and positive change is a daunting and challenging process. There are no easy answers but one thing is certain - if you change nothing, nothing will change.
At Wide Open Co. we have trialled a number of ways to effect change for our business. Our most effective method to date has been to use of a strategy developed by Americans Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling titled “The 4 Disciplines of Execution” or 4DX. This method encourages change by focussing on a single “Wildly Important Goal” or WIG. The strategy separates the tasks in our business that deal with the day-to-day, or the “whirlwind”, from the tasks that will bring us closer to achieving our WIG. It’s a marvelous method and we encourage you to seek out more information.
With these tools to hand, we have: launched our full featured company website; set up a job management system that integrates with our billing system; improved the number and diversity of our client base; and focused our efforts to deliver well above client expectations. In order to bring about these improvements, and using the 4DX method, we set ourselves a goal. Let’s take the launch of our company website as an example.
As with many businesses, we were much better at providing our services and skills to our clients, but not so good at getting around to completing design projects for ourselves. Our priorities were always on servicing our clients first. In quieter periods we’d made a start on our website but things fell by the wayside once things got busy. We also struggled to agree on what the content of the site should be.
We were close to giving up.
This is when we read about the 4DX method and found our way forward.
“You will never ‘find’ time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.”
We began by setting our “wildly important goal” – Go live with our full featured website by 1 March 2019. Next, we broke the outstanding tasks into repeatable chunks – writing, visual content, content upload & site development. For the duration of the WIG we met weekly for a brisk 15 minute meeting. Each week every team member committed to completing two activities that would move us toward our WIG. We were all held accountable to these tasks and we established a scoreboard to track our progress. It took us 6 weeks and by 3 March we went live with our snazzy new website. It was a team effort and we are very proud of it.
We are often complimented on the professional appearance and functionality of our website. The site has benefitted Wide Open Co. in a number of ways; by acting as a showpiece for our business and making it easier for our prospective clients to find us and preview our work & methodologies. By redirecting some of our resources toward this goal, we’ve created an invaluable resource that is critical to our business success.
We hope to be a part of similar success stories for our clients. And, we are optimistic that our experience will offer some reassurance that, beginning with a first step, things can change and they will if you make it so.