Every few months, as one season ends and the next season begins, I feel both anxious and excited. And it’s often a little bumpy along the way (both in my business AND in the weather). These ebbs and flows, though, are nature’s way of keeping it all interesting. They are also important signposts for me to understand and consider as I plan for inevitable ebbs and flows of my business and my capacity.
As I write this, in mid-March 2022, today is 70 degrees. The sun is melting away the 3.5 inches of snow that arrived last Saturday. Birds are nesting. Daffodils are beginning to bloom. Mother Nature is definitely signaling the beginning of spring.
With each change in seasons comes an evolution of my business as well.
An Evolution of my Business
In March 2020, much of my business involved facilitating in-person retreats and team building. As the pandemic grew longer, I began helping my clients, and a number of facilitator colleagues, quickly pivot their in-person conferences and workshops to virtual platforms. This was very interesting and inspiring. Most of my clients have important work to do and important things to say. I found it very rewarding to be able to run the logistics, be the wizard behind the curtain, and help them get those messages out into the world.
In 2021, as more clients “thought” they could go back to “normal” in-person events, things were slower in my virtual world. Later in the year, business picked up again as we realized the pandemic was not quite finished with us yet.
These years did NOT represent the normal ebb and flow I was used to, but certainly gave me opportunities to enhance both my skills and my networks.
As the first quarter of 2022 comes to a close, I’m seeing more stabilization across my clients as they start to settle into their “new normal”. I also understand better the ebb and flow in the seasons for some services I offer (conference season, vacation season, holiday season, etc). I think organizations are also beginning to understand that, with virtual events and services, more intentional and deliberate planning contributes significantly to the success of the engagement.
Events, convenings, conferences, and workshops all benefit from spreading out the planning and preparation across multiple weeks/months. Instead of waiting till the last minute to push an in-person event to a virtual platform, do more of the design and agenda planning earlier in the planning cycle. This helps the event to be more seamless and successful – and less stressful – for everyone involved.
Similarly, as we plan for team building, spend more time up front exploring the purpose and the outcomes we want to achieve from workshops. Talk to team members individually, early on, to understanding their current feelings and situations. As a result, the relationships from team building activities become stronger and teams function in a more cohesive manner.
What’s happening in your organizations?
Are you still in a last-minute push to get your events prepped and delivered? How are the stress levels among your team members?
Could you reduce the stress by starting earlier or taking more time to plan? Do you see your teams struggling to work well together because they haven’t seen each other or don’t know each other well?
I’d love to hear what you are experiencing.