The power of changing orientation
I have just left Spain, where I spent a handful of days. Specifically I was in Barcelona, and while there learned some interesting history on the city. The main point of interest that stuck out to me was that for many years, the city turned their back on their waterfront. The whole city was oriented in the other direction, and consequently the waterfront became decrepit and run down.
This all finally changed however in the early part of the 20th century, when officials recognized that the waterfront provided a tremendous resource for them, and that there was a lot of value in utilizing what the waterfront made available to them. Of course now, the city is oriented towards their celebrated and gorgeous waterfront and beaches. The Olympic Plaza that was built to host the 1992 Barcelona Olympics was fortunately built in the beautiful waterfront area and the legacy is a gorgeous series of sports venues.
Significant Growth in Business from minor tweaks and changes
To me, there is an important lesson in this history. Often we completely miss what is before us and available to us, even in our businesses. It might be something geographical, something related to our in house talent management, or any number of other things. We may have settled into a perspective that something is not of value that is right within our grasp and our set of resources. In fact, we may have even turned our backs on it and are devaluing what is right there in front of (or behind) us. Fortunately for most, the difference between minor success and significant success in growing business and profits is just a series of minor tweaks and changes. However, at times there does need to be a complete “about-face.”
The change in the city of Barcelona that happened once the city did a complete 180 degree turn altered their future for the good. This was an example of a complete “about-face” and yet it just required a reorientation in a new direction – one that was there all the time but that was being ignored.
Challenge current perspectives
As business owners and leaders, we can take an important lesson from this. We should ensure that from time to time we stop and take stock of what is before, beside and behind us, and re-evaluate the perspectives that we have been holding to regarding the range of resources at our fingertips. Facts don’t change, but our perspectives do, and we can actually make resonant choices about new perspectives. I have seen transformation take place for individuals who have been willing to challenge a current perspective and choose to walk in a new one. This is exactly what happened for Barcelona.
Cameron’s Call to Action
- Carve out some intentional time and space to re-evaluate several of the perspectives you currently hold in your business, particularly related to things you currently don’t value or that you see as a problem or a detractor from your business.
- Seek to discover a possible new perspective on something (a resource perhaps) where there could be significant value that you have not been able to see before.
- Find a way to test the new perspective by walking in it fully and exploring and measuring the new outcomes. You may have found something brilliant. If not, abandon it and try again, recognizing that the best business breakthrough’s often happen as a result of a new perspective on something.