I was really happy to see Team New Zealand winning the America's Cup yacht racing again. Their performance was not perfect, but consistently improving. It looked easy to win the races at the end.
I was always amazed when I saw others being successful at a young age. I thought they were lucky. Then I realized that we, the unlucky ones wasted so much time, that it was logical to be behind the successful ones. After completing a number of projects and triathlon races, now I see it differently.
Consistency wins. To Team New Zealand in sailing - but I believe in everything - success comes from consistency. The shortest way between 2 points is a straight line. Even if you go in zig-zag, if you keep going towards your goal, you will get there sooner than others who drift along. They sometimes go too fast, too slow but mostly towards the wrong destination. This is true for talented individuals and in most organizations as well.
Why be consistent?
Many people, for-profit or non-profit organizations seem to drift daily. They waste time debating business cases, then mostly emotionally decide to go ahead. They start a project and close it early before the results can be visible. They push short deadlines, burn out the team and then the solution is not adopted for months by the users. So they change direction and speed all the time.
Imagine a sailing boat that wants to go to the next port, that changes speed and direction, team members, and parts of the boat all the time. They won’t get there. One side is setting goals and direction: this is leadership. The other side is professional execution, keeping speed: this is consistency.
I believe that a sustainable organization must minimize waste so must be LEAN. Otherwise, your physical/digital footprint will be much bigger than needed compared to the value and impact you make.
Consistency in your products, brand, team and customer experience is vital to survive and thrive.
How to be consistent?
You can be consistent only from the inside out.
WHO are you as an individual and organization?
Who are you and want to be in the future? Which of your core values are stable, consistent, and act as the North Star? Consistency comes from our commitment to our values. Values evolve slowly and don’t change dramatically. You can rely on your gut to feel if something is for you or not.
WHY do you do what you do?
We stand by the cause we choose. We stand by the people we represent and serve (our customers, teams, partners, owners). Consistency is hard, as the environment from the outside will give us challenges. But the most successful people are true to themselves and to Their People. Consistently.
HOW can you stay consistent?
With Lean mentality and culture, you don’t spend time and money on low-priority projects. You REDUCE your waste of inputs and outputs. You REUSE knowledge and tools. You RECYCLE your experts for the next challenge.
You also can use a framework like Agile and keep a rhythm. You leave your planning and delivery cycles consistent. You harmonize your product owners and you create consistency among their roadmaps. You keep teams stable, consistent so they can form/storm/norm and perform. If there is a review at the end of the cycles, you document and agree on the lessons learned and just keep repeating the doing/learning.
WHAT do you need to be consistent?
Most successful companies apply best practices and the best tools they can source. They don't reinvent the wheel and go solo. They leverage Design Thinking & Lean & Agile approaches. They use task management platforms like JIRA, Asana, or at least Trello. They invest in training and coaches who can reset their processes and tools and who can build good habits for the leaders and teams.
You don’t need external coaches forever. But you need a reset of direction and a boost of momentum. They can set you on a consistent path that has substantial benefits in the compound interest of time saved.
Exponential growth comes from slow and consistent repetitions (left side of the diagram below). Once you are good at maturity level-1, you can improve speed. Once you are good at level-2 as a linear growth, you will accelerate on level-3 to be exploding to exponential.
I suggest not to talk about growth before we talk about maturity. Maturity comes from being consistent with who we are, whom we serve and why, how we plan and execute and we have all the tools we need.
Team New Zealand didn’t win America’s Cup by accident. Rather the opposite. They consistently planned, executed, and learned from all the races. Just like the Italian team. Ahh. Wrong conclusion?
No, the kiwis had a faster boat…
In the next episodes of my season-1 blogs, you can read more about how to build a faster boat… :)
About the Author
Laszlo Csite is a business coach who helps gifted and keen leaders and teams to be extraordinary and fulfil their potential. He is also a digital product owner, who helps great ideas to grow into admired digital/physical products.
If you enter a new field, want to grow, acquire, transform or exit successfully - using proven methods can save you time and frustration.
When you are ready, I can show you how to be CONSISTENT. I will share my 24 years of consulting experience and my carefully selected network of professionals with you.
You can contact me for a complimentary chat or feedback on my articles here: lacix.co