Yes its about that time – around 30 days into lockdown and we are now settling into a NEW ‘transient’ normal.
Parents are finding their feet as home workers, homeworkers are finding their normalcy now they have been joined by the rest of the world and the voices of the shy are begin to be heard, because they now know how to turn their mic on (and off). Those still working in offices are getting used to the new manner of operating and the contrast they may be seeing (from busy to quiet or the reverse).
In this musing I’m sharing some thoughts on the melodies that we may be witnessing with in ourselves, our workers and our managers. And contemplate the fact that the people are starting to talk.
“Businesses might not be buying yet but they can hear you though the noise….”
The melodies we are seeing
I think there’s probably around 6 melodies that we are seeing, this is obviously in my humble opinion (therefore trust what you will). Your best sense/evidence check is to reflect on your own working melody (and those of your team or peers) and see if they match one of the below (or a mix of them)…
Pattern – repeated design fixed. People are finding patterns in their day, how best to use their morning and afternoon and evening based on their work and their environment (and those within in it). This approach often has a fixed order and timeframe.
Routine – repeated design flexible. This is much like patterns above however the key difference being the start and endpoint are changeable. People taking this approach may be finding value in the known regarding the manner in which they work but are not shackled to a time frame.
Process – one direction of flow. People in this train of work feel comforted by doing A, then B, then C and so on in order. There is a process to doing what they do and messing with this could rock their productivity. It may well be that these people are suffering the most during this new working situation as other peoples melodies don’t match theirs.
Rhythm – follow the energy of the day. If you can find this and listen to your energy and the energy of the day you may well be in the healthiest place both mentally and physically. Making time for the things you need to do when you need to do them. However you may need to accept that some days you will get less done, however on others you will nail it!
Structure – known start and end. Perhaps this is those driven by an external force. Their business or their employers require them to work to a certain timeframe. That timeframe may be fixed in real terms or perhaps it just hasn’t been thought of to move it. The challenge here is if others in the home have a similar work pattern it means its hard to tag team the other task that need to be done (e.g. parenting, shopping etc).
Pace – speed of activity. These people see a desire just to get things done, get it out of the way and then move onto ‘everything else’ (parenting, teaching a child, looking after others, chores etc). However if more work comes in and it can’t be done in the timeframe they have set themselves – watch out for the ‘straw’ that may break their back (metaphorically speaking).
Personally, I have worked through a few of these… first it was all about ‘Pace’ and trying to fit it all in (father, parent educator, business owner, friend, brother, son etc). It took a week or so to realise that this was not doable, so we then went for the pattern approach.
That frankly was boring, so we now we have moved into a balance between ‘routine’ and ‘rhythm’. We have routine in a sense of the order we get things done, however both our start and end point for a day are changeable as it the ‘rhythm’ of our day. My advice, do what works for you but please…
“Don’t drag the old world into the now, it won’t serve you”
Note: if you haven’t found your melody yet, stop fighting the system, let it come…build it with your world in mind where possible. Not just with your work in mind….
What does this mean for money-making…
Yes I believe good two way converstions are beginning, people are beginning to talk (in a deeper manner than the fighter fighting panic we may have seen recently). Clients have survived the barrage of offers of help and are getting to the point where they can hear you within the noise of ‘Free X’ and ‘Online Y’.
They may not be ready to buy, but they are now settling into their own melody. This is one less stress in their day as they have an idea of what it may look like. With that decided ‘they can lift their heads from the desk and look up’.
By my crude math (to see these check out the previous blog – Don’t use your A game just yet) – in the UK we are entering the Neutral Zone of Bridges Transition Model – check out the image below with my estimated date line added.
Yes we still have confusion (people caught between old and new worlds), disorientation (those not sure where stuff is), frustration (a slowed working pace) and maybe even apathy (focus on process over purpose), BUT many have found their personal melody, one that seems to be working more often than not.
Its time now to listen intently to the stories being told through your social media channels and any online business gatherings (get involved and listen). I say still avoid the sell or offering to much help (even if you know you can really improve things). If you jump in too soon you gold will be missed as the noise is still to die out.
Listen to the tone of voice, ask the questions which will help you figure out where clients (potential and existing) are on the curve above and particularly what sort of melody they and their workforce have chosen or been forced into. Follow their lead, let their voice fill the spaces that have recently been populated by a myriad of ‘SOLUTIONS’ that promise fill the void of what was before…Its time to listen out for the phrase…
“I can hear you now”
And when that arrives you can recognise a subtle invite for help, their productivity is rising and their safety within this uncertain time is being replenished. At this point you can begin to consider ‘the deal’….
Look inward, listening to your own melody. When you truly have this nailed its a sign other may be there to (just behind or in front you). Use your own measure for readiness as a barometer for engaging with clients.
Question: Are you ready to buy something you don’t really know if you need becuse you are still working out where is the best place to put your home-working desk or what actually are the best times to get work done based on children needs or dog walking or caring or cooking or everything else. When you can say you have this nailed then so may your clients.
Kurt Ewald Lindley – starting to see the needle of opportunity in the haystack of information
P.S. why did you panic buy…. Photo’s taken 22 April Tesco Doncaster!