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The Coaching Corner with Michael Riegel: The Only Constant is Change

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The debate comes up at this time of year, seemingly every year, about turning our clocks back and ending Daylight Savings Time. Well, except for those of you in Arizona and Hawaii. The formal implementation of Daylight Savings Time dates to 1966 and President Johnson under the premise that by shifting the hour of daylight from the morning to the evening it would save energy and encourage more late day activity. Are those still applicable and relevant goals? 
We implement changes or memorialize approaches with the best of intentions. Saving energy and promoting more activity are admirable. But what if, with the best of intentions, the benefits do not materialize. I am not arguing the realization of the expected benefits. I am suggesting that we can easily fall into the trap of letting situations continue without questioning the “hows” and whys.” It reminds me of the Talking Heads song lyric “And you may ask yourself, how did I get here?” that often remains unanswered. 
How does this show up in our personal and professional lives? There are times when we don’t take appropriate control of our career paths and end up in a place we never expected or wanted. Or we continue to use the same policies and procedures that no longer address the current operating model. The use of older means and methods in opposition to new technology. Let’s think about some approaches to break that cycle. 
Check In Regularly 
Schedule check ins to make sure you are staying on track. For your career, this can be combined with your annual performance review (hopefully you are giving and receiving reviews) to really question your direction and goals.  Situations change. Don’t be afraid to reset your goals and make adjustments. 
Challenge the Conventional Approach 
In a project-oriented industry, we generally find ourselves rolling from one project to the next. Before starting a project, consider the standard approach and whether that can be tailored or improved. This can include the definition of success, the frequency and method of meetings, the team structure, communications, and project specific KPIs. 
Be Curious! 
Curiosity is a powerful tool so long as it does not become an interrogation. Curiosity allows you to discover more about the underlying approach or thinking. This applies as much to your team members and colleagues as it does to the way your projects are built. Through your curiosity you may be able to elevate different and innovative ideas. You might even discover some things about yourself. 
I come back to the premise of the six most expensive words: “we’ve always done it that way.” Realize that our industry changes, we grow and have different needs and goals, the world around us continues to innovate and that remaining locked into a legacy approach may not yield the results you want. 
Let me know how you are breaking the cycle and encouraging new thinking and approaches. As always, you can reach me at  
Michael Riegel 


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