Grace and I changed the time of our daily walk and yesterday morning, we had an unexpected treat. It made me think of how just a simple change in a routine can yield significant — and in our case, beautiful — results!
In our workplaces, routines are commonplace. Our teams and departments start to run on autopilot, executing tasks and projects without much thought about why or how we’re doing it. That means that we tend to have the same kind of outcomes, without bringing innovation or new ideas to the forefront. Our staff can start to get bored and we don’t even know why!
So this innocent change in walk time created an eye-opening reminder to the value of changing things up occasionally, even when things are going well with your existing processes. Prior to the summer’s heat wave, our walk time had been mid-day or sometime in the afternoon, when one or the other of us needed a break to stretch our legs. The sun was strong and there were certain rhythms to what we saw, such as insects and birds. But things are different at dawn. Yesterday, we headed out before 7:00 a.m. and very quickly, we noticed something quite unusual ahead of us on the road. We stumbled upon an enormous moth, measuring nearly 6″ in width, laying still as if he was trying to make himself invisible. He (she?) fluttered a bit when Grace almost stepped on him! Moths are nighttime creatures and we apparently caught him at the end of his active cycle and the beginning of ours.
A simple change of time to avoid the heat provided the opportunity to experience something totally unexpected, a treasure that we would have missed otherwise.
What routines have become stagnant at your workplace? Mixing things up, even just a tad, can offer fresh ideas and new ways of seeing things. Here are a few examples, all easy with no cost attached!
- Change where your staff meeting is held or adjust the day/time of week
- Offer to meet in your employee’s space/cubicle instead of your own for your next one-on-one meeting, or even go on a walk instead!
- Bring in a guest speaker to your next meeting, perhaps an expert in their field, or a client impacted by your work
- Alter the frequency of an activity, either to more or less often, depending on the event.
- Add a new topic to a meeting, or drop one.
- Ask your team how to mix things up, they will have good ideas! Just keep it simple and easy. That will get the creative juices flowing without adding stress to people’s plates.
What other ideas to you have for generating a buzz in your office? Remember, the smallest of efforts can yield amazing results.