Momentum Sucks

The momentum in any organization will always be towards what already is.

But sometimes what already is becomes the biggest obstacle to what could be.

We often like what is. After all, getting there took work. Momentum is the result of discipline, intentionality, and consistency. Momentum feels good. It’s easy. It lives in the habits of how customers purchase, team members behave, and where leaders invest their best.

And sometimes, it’s the biggest thing in the way.

When Frank Blake was the CEO of Home Depot, he saw the internet “tidal wave” coming and knew they were unprepared. They were a growing and successful brick and mortar store business. How do you tell people who help people build buildings that they aren’t in the building business!

He made an announcement to his team

Our competitor isn’t Lowe’s, it’s Amazon.

Former CEO of Home Depot, Frank Blake

How do you change momentum?

Imagine a bus driver realizes they need to change direction. They’ll need to slow down, look ahead, and make a controlled turn (hopefully, with their blinker).

Slow down. We probably have to under-invest at we’re good at so we’re better able to change lanes. We’ll need to invest in something that isn’t working yet.

Look ahead. We might have to send scout teams ahead to determine our new direction. You’ll have to get comfortable with uncertainty. The formula’s in the uncharted territory aren’t nearly as certain as where you came from.

Put your blinker on. Tell the people around you that you’re changing lanes. Be prepared to respond to their pushback. Clarify how others can weigh-in.

Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. If your momentum is in the wrong direction, take the wheel and begin making a change.

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