After telling some of our close friends over the holidays about our plan for Lloyd to join the business, and seeing their wide-eyed worried expressions, we decided we should probably talk about how we might work together…and stay married!
April’s perspective: I approached our “vision of how we will work together” in the same way I plan any other work project. Thinking about: “What do we want to accomplish?” “What are the tools we could use to help the discussion flow?” “What does success look like?” “What is the agenda?”
We packed ourselves up and headed to a location away from home with all of our materials – flip charts, post-its, magazines and markers. Our objective was to create a shared vision for the company and what our roles would be.
Over the years, I’ve discovered several sources to help with vision/strategy planning; all of them are great in different ways. The first exercise was to review each and come back together to align on the best approach. Some of the sources we had available were:
I was excited and optimistic when we got back together. Books and materials were all over the table, and I could tell this was going to be a good conversation. Lloyd started first. He said “so what I’ve discovered is that our word for the year should be ‘intentionality’ and I’ve identified two main areas that we need to focus on to be more productive.” All the air went out of my sails, and I sat there for several long seconds trying to grasp at how I would respond, because he clearly did not stick to the plan of aligning on the best approach but instead, jumped to a conclusion!
We had to stray from the agenda for about 10 minutes to work through this style difference, but we made it to the other side.
After getting past my initial reaction, I knew what he said was exactly what was needed for the business - he’s very proficient at coming to solid conclusions quickly, and doesn’t feel the need to review every angle before deciding. This is exactly the skill we need … although it wasn’t what I expected from an exploratory vision exercise.
Lloyd’s perspective: It didn't take long to see that there were similar patterns in these different methodologies, so let’s just cut to the chase here and identify the big levers that are going to move the needle for us most. Boom, done!
Married Couple working together lesson #1: we need to be open-minded toward the other person’s way of thinking. We have different strengths, and our approaches are not the same but can be complimentary when we have patience.
Stay Tuned….more lessons to come…