By Christine Hollinden

Springtime is a time for renewal. The trees bud, colorful flowers burst forth and the birds start to sing. Spring is the perfect time to hit the pause button, take a step back, and breathe. Just like we take vacations to renew our energy, we too must bring that same level of renewal to our firm. We often get bogged down in a day-to-day barrage of emails, meetings, phone calls, and deadlines resulting in both our firm and our lives being put on autopilot. When you fail to take a moment to step back and gain a fresh perspective, you are not allowing your firm the freedom to thrive. So what can you do? Commit time to reassess, reenergize, refocus, and renew your thinking.

Everyone in every industry and every market sector needs time to renew for one primary reason – change. Markets change, people change, technology changes, and opportunities change. We live in a world where they are changing faster than ever before. It took approximately 25 years for the telephone to become mainstream as compared to approximately 3 years for the adoption of smart phone and tablet technology. Examine your goals and make an honest assessment of where you stand. What have you accomplished to date? Are there any significant internal changes? External? How about changes to budgets and service lines? What are people resisting that they should be embracing? You must have a solid understanding of internal and external changes impacting your firm before you can take a step forward.

Based on the analysis, as well as the constraints, restraints and opportunities identified, ask one simple question . . . “Why?” Too often we spend time talking ourselves into doing certain things and our reasons are often weak (like, because our competitors are doing it). Instead, try to talk yourself OUT of doing things that aren’t producing results. Eliminate them. Change them. Move on. Functioning on autopilot, making excuses, creates complacency and dormancy.

Shift the efforts from routine to energized. Think about what you can do to take things to the next level. Breathe new life into your firm. Do the unexpected. Get your team involved. Question everything. Then, take one small step. Small modifications can produce the biggest results simply by breaking through the mundane.

Take that moment to hit the pause button and find that quiet time for thought and reflection. Then, and only then, will powerful new ideas spring forth. Renew your firm’s efforts just like the spring flowers. Dare to be different and remember, small changes produce big results. Most importantly, renewal only happens when we shed the dreariness of winter, the multitude of excuses, and face reality head on with determination.