Turning a Train Around

Posted by JasonBlumeron Aug 24, 2017 in

I'm no railroad engineer, but I imagine turning a train around to go in the opposite direction takes a lot of work and time. On the other hand, hooking up a cart to the end of a train going in the same direction seems like a simple process.

This could be a loose analogy to building your business. When partners and teams are moving in the same direction (my partner and I call it "being on the same page") it's easy to add new things like processes, software, clients, team members, etc. Just hook these things onto the end of the moving train and keep going. But if the people in an organization are traveling in opposite directions, turning those thoughts, patterns, and ideas around is really hard to do. And when you do need to turn around a train that is headed in a different direction, it takes much more time to turn the train around and then hook up the new carts (processes, software, clients, team members, etc.).

As the leader of your company, it is important that you are making sure all of the trains are headed in the right direction. This means you have to take a break from doing the work that your company produces, and instead make sure everyone is saying out loud what the work is, and whether everyone is headed in the right direction. This can be done by sharing the vision and values with your team on a regular basis (at least monthly). Then it takes regular reminders to keep everyone headed in the same direction.

Many entrepreneurs fail to see the value of stopping the work and then focusing on making sure everyone is agreeing out loud what the work even is. This is a key differentiator between good and great companies. 

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