We’ve written much this year about embracing failure in pursuit of success, letting your team take the wheel, and taking breaks to improve focus. All these themes circle the idea of slowing, reflecting, and resting—in pursuit of personal and organizational
success. But what if you’ve strayed off-course from organizational or personal goals and objectives? Perhaps a strategic pause is in order.
As we enter the last quarter of the year, often a time of last-minute rush and haste, we challenge your organization to take a strategic pause. Pausing strategically does not mean take a break. While it can be restorative, this pause asks you to step out of the perpetually urgent firefighting of your day-to-day routine, reflect on what’s working and what’s not, and keep moving toward your mission.
You can encourage your team to do this on an individual level by asking them to pause to let what they’ve learned through the year set in. Journaling and coaching are of
ten useful ways to help individuals pause. At an organizational level, pause in the moment to check in with your team to stay on course and maintain alignment. Pause briefly and periodically throughout the year by sharing learning across your team. Take a longer pause at least annually to review strategic, big picture initiatives and collective progress toward them.
How to Pause
As an individual or a team:
1. Stop. Stop what you’re doing—this is a pause after all.
2. Remember. What is my mission, my purpose?
3. Reflect. Does what I’m doing contribute to my mission and purpose? Am I sacrificing the important for the urgent? What do I need to start, stop, or continue to get back to my mission and purpose?
4. Act. What are you going to do about what you learned in this pause? Who will do what by when? It’s not enough to reflect. You need to do something with the outcome of this exercise.
Lead your team by stepping out of the urgent, pausing strategically, and returning to your mission. CEEK a Better Way®!