“If you gotta shoot, aim high. I don’t wanna hit the groundhog.” + Buster Green

“If you gotta shoot, aim high. I don’t wanna hit the groundhog.” + Buster Green

For those of you who don’t remember Buster Green, he was a character played by Brian Doyle-Murray for the 1993 masterpiece “Groundhog’s Day” (or maybe you didn’t need to look up quotes on IMDB for a blog post). Anyway, today is Groundhog’s Day and for once there is a holiday where the cheesy movie actually has more meaning than the holiday itself….or so I would like to suggest to you.

A quote that is probably more important to this post is from Brian’s brother Bill:

“I told you. I wake up every day, right here, right in Punxsutawney, and it’s always February 2nd, and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

While this movie was a quirky comedy, the most unfortunate part is that it’s a reality of most businesses. Every day is more of the same. We’re now 33 days into 2012 and a lot of the excitement surrounding the New Years resolutions have gone to the wayside. Much of the excitement about “kicking ass in 2012″ now dwindled to the monontonous task of replying to emails and wondering “when is it going to be 5?”.

Why is that? Everyone has seen the success of companies like Google and Apple who have enabled their people, cut out a lot of the bureaucratic non-sense that makes the corporate world seem so…..well, corporate. We all do the same things: we go to the seminars, we read the books and blogs that we are supposed to read, we come back to the office ready to change things….and we’re met with closed doors…..so we crawl back into the desk and chair and go back to answering emails…..waiting for that miraculous day when it will all change.

The problem there, lies in the fact that it won’t change, because you’re fighting physics at that point.

Newton’s 1st law of physics suggests that an object in motion will remain in motion unless an outside force acts upon it.

Your company is going to continue on the same path, doing the same crap day in and day out…week after week….year after crappy year………

UNTIL!!!! you’re acted upon by an outside force.

There are many forces that could change that trajectory, but here are the two I want to harp on: A) outside force = empowered employees who are given the opportunities to make real change within the organization B) outside force = competitor who empowers employees, reps the benefits, lowers costs, increases morale, increases productivity, increases on-boarding of additional talent and beings acquiring all of your talent and all of your customers.

Only one of those scenarios works in your favor, but the absolute truth of this is that you have the decision to make or it will be made for you. Please let me assure you that this is not something that “it’ll never happen to me”…it absolutely is. All over the country there are businesses being started by people who have found a way to do it better/smarter; faster/stronger. There is someone who will be entering your vertical (if they aren’t already). It doesn’t matter how big you are, because the theory of too big to fail is untrue. Look at Blockbuster. Here today. Gone tomorrow. They were DESTROYED by someone who figured out how to use technology to do it better, faster, smarter.

Your people have the ideas. ASK THEM FOR THE ANSWERS!

Your customers know why they buy from you, what you suck at, and what you can do to help them improve their processes. ASK THEM!

The Ohlmann Group has a monthly “Innovation Meeting”, where we ask the team for thoughts, we seek out areas of improvement, and we are getting stronger, faster, better because of it. In less than 2 years this place has gone from “old school agency” to “cutting edge marketing firm”. Most of our business comes from referrals…people in Dayton: “web design, go to Ohlmann Group”…”if you need a strategy, talk to Ohlmann Group”.

I am so proud of the work that we have done here and the direction we are going. All it took was an outside force to change the course….and only 2 short years later…we’re rockin and rolling.

Thanks for reading! Please don’t let tomorrow be just like today. If you get 1% better everyday….in one year, you’ll be 300% better

For your entertainment (the lesson is, until you change your behavior…you’ll keep repeating the same crap):

It’s 6 am. Rise and shine. And don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s cold out there today. It’s cold out there every day. What is this, Miami Beach?

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