Springing a Leak…

Good Day and Terrific Tuesday [or is it Turn Up Tuesday or Whatever Tuesday…LOL]! As we continue to get this week started, I am constantly reminded that as life happens, there are applicable lessons and blogs that are born from it. Case in point, last night, I had plans to be out of the house and attend bible study. But lo and behold, that did not happen. Why? Well, for one, after my run I went to wash a dish but realized that there was more water on the floor than in the sink. Yup, my kitchen sink pipes had sprung a leak!

Well, my only recourse was to cut the water off and get to mopping and utilizing any available towels I had at my disposal. As you can guess or for those that have had this problem before, water was everywhere. Now, I didn’t panic but I had to go into crisis mode to get the water stopped and dried. Mission accomplished. But it did rearrange my plans and got me thinking…in our daily business processes, how many times have we “sprung a leak” and had to rearrange or readjust our business/strategic plans?

Our nonprofits/businesses will start off problem free for months or years. Then all of a sudden, it springs a leak! We are so focused on the plan we have or the weekly assignment in front of us that we fail to see the little things underneath that need our attention. The details. Or in my case, the covered pipes that I could not see. Our businesses may “spring a leak” when someone unexpectedly quits, a check/payment doesn’t clear, an audit doesn’t get passed, etc… Well, what do you do?

You break out the towels and get to mopping. LOL In our daily business lives, we must pay attention not only to the things we can see but to the detailed things we cannot see but are oh so important. Are we paying enough attention to the payroll? Are we managing our employees by walking around? Is there proactive feedback we can use to offset us being reactive? The writing is usually on the wall but we need to pay attention to it before the leak is sprung.

The other piece that came to me from the water on the floor was that while I had a plan to attend to bible study, given the management of a crisis, my plans were now changed. The same goes for business. While we may have a plan, be open for the change that may come. Being flexible and adapting can do wonders for your nonprofit. Also, don’t wait for the crisis moment, revisit strategic plans often to see where you are and how you can manuever.

In the end, it was just water on the floor. But with business, it can mean the difference to being open or shut down. So pay attention to the details. And when you business “springs a leak” it won’t be a shock or a surprise. You will have the know how to turn off the water, mop up the spill, get it fixed and get ready for the next day!

Cheers.

Keith Cradle

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