As we move through the winter solstice the northern hemisphere is closing down for its winter rest. This has long been a time of literally going inside, and of turning inward for rest and rejuvenation. And as our calendar year comes to a close, it’s a time when many of us take time to reflect on the past year and what we want to create in the next year. Hence the many “new year’s resolutions.”
It’s powerful to be in sync with natural rhythms and a great practice that offers deep insight and possibility on a personal level. It can be equally powerful at the group level.
Why not give your group time to go inward so to speak, and assess how you are doing? Every group needs special times to reflect, to review, and then make adjustments where needed, or reinforce and celebrate what’s working.
The rapid pace of change in our world make this more important than ever. It’s the time to look at the big picture and make honest assessments of the results of actions taken that enable us to create rather than merely to react. And as I say in all my messages – if we want to pull together to make things work then we must have sufficient time for the conversations that bring us in sync.
1. Put dates on your 2013 calendar for renewal activities.
Take time to look at what your doing – what’s going well? Where do you see opportunities to shift things for more ease, efficiency, and effectiveness? Your strategic planning, program review, business planning are all part of this. Just be sure to include the review of your culture.
2. Practice preventive medicine.
It is just as important to assess your social environment – your culture, your agreements, your habits of collaboration – as it is to evaluate your performance on your goals. We spend so much time focused on the tasks we need to accomplish that the relationships on which that performance depends are often overlooked – until there’s a crisis. Make it easy to talk about the quality of the environment you are creating and recreating every day. Then you can routinely make the adjustments that will keep everyone “healthy” and producing great results.
3. Make sure you have routine moments to check in with each other.
Even five or ten minutes at a routine staff meeting to find out what people are thinking about how things are going and where they see opportunities to grow can be hugely beneficial. Don’t let little things become big problems. Provide easy opportunities to clear up misunderstandings, resolve disagreements and create healthy agreements.