Change the Tires
Tom Hogue June 2016
So I was zipping along between clients the other day in my Dodge Charger, which I'm proud to say has nearly 230,000 miles on it already, when something caught my attention. The roads were slightly damp after a gentle drizzle, and I was spinning out when taking off from a stop because my tires were long past due to be replaced.
As I was thinking about the need to change my tires, I remembered what a mentor said during one of his lessons. He said, "sometimes we need to change the tires while the car is rolling down the highway." Gary Pica
It's an impossible statement when you think of it logistically. But he was describing changes which sometimes must be paid for business improvement, where, although it would be ideal to stop the business to make the corrections and then start back up, it's nearly impossible to do so.
Of course the ideal way to change tires on a car is with the vehicle completely stopped, preferably up on a jack or lift, and with the right tools. Imagine if we made some very important changes to business processes or personnel, and in doing so we had to stop our business from functioning. Could the business survive the loss of income for one week to many months? Not likely.
Wouldn't it be nice to focus just on changing the tires, rather than driving the car, watching for traffic, and navigating the roadways all at the same time?
You see, that's how we must implement most business improvements. At the exact same time as all of the other work that's already on our plate. Often we feel overwhelmed.
It's a challenge for certain, but it must be done. This car we call our business has to continue moving forward. We cannot stop. The alternative to changing the tires while our car is still moving, is to continue riding on those tires while they progressively get worse, never, ever replacing those worn tires.
What happens then? Well, we would certainly be living on borrowed time, and an accident would eventually occur. The tragedies from an accident are often devastating.
So while it may be a little crazy, and require great courage to do so, changing the tires on a moving business is always better than the alternatives and well worth it after the new tread grips the road. Better traction and handling yields better performance and a safer ride.
Take it from someone who's had to do this before and still does. It's hard, but you can change the tires while rolling down the highway.