Do you remember the old UPS commercial about the company that launched their new website and suddenly they had too many orders to handle? Unfortunately, with most things in business, you do not gain momentum at that pace. In all reality, in the beginning it can feel like any change in a business is moving at a snail’s pace. While it sometimes helps to “think back” to a time when you started the change to make it feel more apparent, the truth is that with most change, it starts slow and then gains momentum over time.
One of my favorite business books is Good to Great by Jim Collins. In this book he describes what he calls the “Flywheel Effect“. The basic concept is to think of any change in your business like a huge solid metal heavy flywheel. Think about what it takes to get that flywheel spinning. In the beginning you push it, and pull it, and try to get everyone working together just to get it to move an inch. After the inch of movement, you are tired and it might even come to a atop. You work through this problem and start it up again until you get it to spin a full rotation. You feel like you have exhausted every bit of energy you have to make this happen, but now that it is moving, there is no way that you will let it stop again. So you keep going. And the second rotation is a little easier than the first. At some point, the wheel is spinning under its own momentum faster than you every imagined it could.
Any change in your business can feel like this. The key is persistence and continuity of your leadership through the change. If you put in the effort however, the feeling of positive change can be palatable once you get it going and your business will be better than ever.
Michael Giuffrida from Southington CT has been operating businesses since 1997. He is an experienced entrepreneur in business management, profitable growth, business valuation, mergers and acquisitions, and information technology managed services.