By Steve Kane
I always enjoy the holiday season. Not only because of the holidays themselves, but also because of the renewed energy I get from ending one year and beginning another. This is the time to reflect on the year that was and contemplate the year that will be.
The short days leading up the winter solstice are a time of reflection for me. I think about all that has happened in the year—all of the things I have seen and done. After all, life is a series of memories. I take this opportunity to think about how I can improve personally and professionally. In a Toyota Kata sort of way, I figure out next steps.
The longer days after the solstice are rejuvenating. I look forward to earlier sunrises, later sunsets and all the potential they bring. I’m not one to map out the coming year. And, forget about New Year’s resolutions. I like to think about just a few things I’d like to experience or accomplish and approach them in the Kata spirit.
What is the target condition?
What is the current condition?
What obstacles do I face?
What is my next step?
When will I reflect on what I have learned?
If don’t reach a target using one path, I’ll find another. I like being in what Rother calls the gray zone. I like it so much that reaching goals is a bittersweet experience. It feels great to accomplish something. At the same time, it can be a bit of a let down to no longer have that thing to accomplish.
I’m very fortunate to work for Gemba Academy for many reasons. At this time of the year I’m grateful for the opportunity to take the last several days of the year to rest and recharge—sharpen the saw, as Covey put it. I’m grateful for the year I’ve had with so many wonderful people. I’m excited for the year ahead.
May you have a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year. Happy winter solstice.