Ideas

“Pause, then Accelerate” Origins & Benefits

“Sometimes all it takes is an intentional pause to see new possibilities and new options.” –K. Armstrong

Early Lesson

When I was a kid my father introduced me to the sport of competitive swimming. By the age of nine, I had an affinity for competing and began to hone the art of gliding through the water. Early on, I became obsessed with working out.

Discipline involved daily and weekend workouts under the close eye of my rather innovative coach. Vince always found new ways for me to discover my pain threshold. No pain, no gain…meaning more speed.

By age 11, I reached an impasse trying to achieve a key milestone: Break one minute for the 100 yard freestyle. This went on for a period of time. My thinking was work harder and the under-a-minute performance will come.

I was racing weekly and doing well. Yet wins were of little consequence. A predictable poolside sequence emerged. At the end of a race I’d look up, hear congratulations, ask the judge my time and then immediately throw a mini-temper tantrum. The speed barrier remained and the drives home were typically long and silent.

Amidst growing frustration, my dad offered a game changer. He suggested I take a few days off while preparing for an important swim meet. Reluctantly, I did. In spite of the “layoff” I clocked in at a breakthrough 57.8 seconds, ultimately driving my times down to near world record levels.

What Happened?

By chance, I received an early lesson on the power of breaking routine. This basic maneuver is at the heart of many, perhaps all, creative breakthroughs, regardless of discipline or domain. From Einstein’s imaginative thought experiments to Gates leaving Harvard to found Microsoft interrupting ones immediate focus or course of action proves beneficial.

Hit the Pause Button

For many leaders, hitting the pause button is a jarring counter intuitive act. It can feel like madness. Largely because Pauses seemingly counter their familiar gut-level sense of urgency for achieving results.

Yet at heart, Pauses represent a phenomenal opportunity to achieve planned targets and ultimately surpass them by considering innovative strategies that leverage assets for sustained results.

Applying the Lesson

Our Pause, then Accelerate approach reflects the strategic business value of altering routine to accelerate breakthroughs.

Our Pauses, enhanced by Diagnostics, reveal ways to either position or reposition companies to achieve better returns. Game changer initiatives are designed into 100 Day Plans to Accelerate progress.

Recent Client Examples:

  • Fast growing professional service firm alters its leadership structure to better support growth, expands its service offerings, and improves profitability
  • Underperforming injection molding company adjusts operations to improve efficiencies and sharpen market focus
  • Resource management company enhances its customer value proposition and wins prestigious institutional multi-year contract
  • Growing alternative transportation company streamlines service offerings to expand high margin services and develop new market solutions

Contact us to discuss transforming your company.