Barb Checket-Hanks

In some ways, the end of summer feels like the end of the year. Many of us can start to feel the seasons changing; kids are going back to school; etc. It almost feels like a good time of year to make resolutions - better than New Years, in fact. Most of those resolutions are made at the spur of the moment, and often under the influence of alcohol.

It is a perfect time of year for making resolutions because there’s a good chance that they will stick. It is a more industrious time of year - the kids are getting back to their work, so to speak, in going back to school; there are practical things to take care of, like changing CO and smoke alarm batteries, and getting vehicles maintained for the winter.

The seasonal nature of this business starts going through its changes too, settling gradually into the slower fall season and giving us the perfect opportunity to put those resolutions into action.

This time of year also increases our opportunities for business travel, those conferences that offer so much good information of both a professional and personal nature. (Seems like every meeting has the general motivational speaker, who has done something like climbing Mt. Everest or flying with the Blue Angels.)

This year, instead of taking a few notes and handouts, then going back to the office to put out the fires, why not resolve to put some of those ideas into action? List them in order of the easiest to put into action - make the first ones the easiest to do, to get the ball rolling - then carry them out.


What do you want to change in your life, either personal or business? Are there some closets that need cleaning? Files that need to be updated? Is there a spare room that could be put to better use? Make an action list. What do you need to have on hand to carry this out? How many people? Is this something you can do to keep people employed during your slow season, that nonetheless adds to the value of the business?

Perhaps you wanted to convert a certain space into a showroom? Is new shelving or some other storage system needed? Perhaps your organizational needs are more digital in nature. Is it time for you to start getting into social media for your business?

Now is the time to let people know about the IAQ solutions your company can provide, as well as energy-saving opportunities that can take advantage of tax incentives - that clock is ticking!


Even on a personal level, this is a better time of year for making the changes that matter. With nature changing all around us, our own changes feel more natural. And it certainly feels better than living in the past!

The key is to make the changes yourself, before something from outside your company creates change. Those outside influences will happen anyway; wouldn’t it feel nice to make a change that is proactive instead of being reactive? It’s like losing the weight before the blood pressure or blood sugar go up. It feels good, it feels smart.

It’s all about taking control, instead of being controlled. It’s something we require of the systems we work with. It’s something we should also require in those other areas of our lives. Taking control of some of the changes in our lives is a very empowering thing.

This is the time of year when nature starts to change into a resting state, but even then, she is doing things that help her prepare for new growth in the spring. What can you do to get similar results, keeping your people employed doing things that ultimately add value to the company?

There are plenty of inspirational quotes about change. We liked this one the best; it comes from American statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and consultant W. Edwards Deming: “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” We wish you more than mere survival.

Publication date: 09/13/2010