Spring is here. Meaning that, at least in the midwest, we're closer to warmer days ahead - even if there might still be flurries in the the same weekly forecast.
So it would be a great time to replace my A/C unit. The same A/C unit that I've been told is "on it's last leg" - by three different repair crews. The same A/C unit that is eligible for a replacement discount if I act now.
It's pretty clear this thing isn't going to last long. But it still works. Why would I bother to fix it now?
At a recent client meeting, after we were done talking about my A/C unit of course, we reviewed a success product they've offered for many years. They get great feedback from their customers on it. They've seen an increase in customers and revenue year after year. Leadership is thrilled with the product.
Which is exactly why they're going to hit the restart button and redesign their entire thing.
On the surface, the product is working. It is growing, making customers happy, and hitting revenue numbers. But the team heard saw and heard some early warning signs saying it was time to make a change.
So what are signs that you should listen for to know whether or not it is time to take action?
When we resist change. We often hold ourselves, and others, back to address issues because we're afraid of the change that comes with it. Maybe it is a tough conversation with a co-worker. Or starting a new project. Resisting the change that is needed is a great warning sign that it is time to take action.
When we think our current state can last forever. Seeing revenue and customer satisfaction go up could have put the leadership team in a false sense of security. However, they didn't let success get to their head. They used the period of success they'd achieve as an opportunity to ask what could be better.
When we think the problem will go away on its own. If we're dealing with an issue with our employees, we may think the problem will resolve itself. Someone will all of a sudden click with the performance issues you've been talking to them about for months. Or that your newly promoted manager will understand what it means to show empathy. Problems typically don't age well.
When it could hurt someone or something. Luckily this client isn't dealing with people's lives, but it did see that revenue wasn't growing as strong as they wanted. They could have kept the program going to let it run its course. Rather, the team didn't want to address the issue when it was forced to because of upset customers or declining revenue.
When the benefits of change outweigh keeping the status quo. This client was also looking at measurables beyond revenue and customer satisfaction. By doing so, they saw a small leak in the program that, if left unattended, could have led to an eventual downfall.
Addressing issues when they're small is always easier before things fall apart and create bigger problems. And often, we know that something isn’t working as well as it should. Rather than waiting for something to fail, look at what you can do today to fix it before it breaks.
As for my A/C unit . . . maybe I'll get to it next year.