mind the gap
In one of my recent grad projects we had to identify several gaps within our organization. Once identified came the task of trying to figure out the root cause. After knowing the cause the next process was to lay out a plan on how to fix the initiatives. Then the final task of the project was to point out any resistance to the initiatives.

What is tough is not identifying the gaps. We are good at that. We are great at looking at the flaws of a system, item, or process, and sometimes we are even good at exploiting those gaps to help out our own cause. However most of the times we do not...
inventory the root cause. If we do, typically it is in a cynical approach in which we attack the cause instead of simply identifying it. The difference is simple identification is only a step to better the situation, a cynical approach helps us look better by exploiting the weaknesses or flaws, a very ego-centric approach.

Laying out a plan is difficult for most people because they are not willing to cope with, or admit that the plan may include improving themselves or to point out personal weaknesses. When the plan is laid out the follow through can be a bear. Take for instance an organization that must go through downsizing. Having a plan to cut peoples jobs that you know will largely affect the families is a tough decision that is not made lightly. But because you have the bigger picture of an organization at risk of bankruptcy the plan becomes easier to follow through.

Then doing a little risk assessment and seeing who or what will become a resistance to the follow through of the plan can be pain staking. This becomes one of those conversions of, if it needs to be done then it must get done.

In London the tube has the words, "Mind The Gap" on the ground in front of all the ledges. They understand that not paying attention to the gaps can be fatal. Organizations understand that if they do not mind the gap it can be fatal as well. The bigger question and the personal application is going through the same process for your own personal life. Lets try it.

Step 1
Take a minute and try to identify some gaps in your own life. If you are serious about this you may even ask some friends that are close to you or family members to give you honest feedback. Don’t try to disagree with it, remember perspective is reality in the minds of others!

Step 2
Write these down. Now begin to try and figure out the root causes, there maybe multiple root causes. If it is others perspective then start there. Ask, ‘How might others view me?’ and see why they feel that way.

Step 3
Now make these gaps initiatives to change yourself. Begin to lay out a plan on how you can change these attributes. Remember you can’t change others, but you can change yourself. Changing yourself changes others perceptions. Make the plan simple and goal oriented so that you can measure your progress. Asking someone to hold you accountable is a great way to continue progressing forward.

Step 4
Now identify any thing that can be a resistance to your success of fulfilling the initiative (s). What are the pitfalls that can stop forward continual progress. The only difference between a stepping stone and a stumbling block is the position of your foot. Identify what could be possible stumbling blocks and then figure out how to make sure it doesn’t trip you up but instead help you by being a stepping stone to the next level.

Step 5
Repeat, repeat, repeat. Every few months repeat this whole process. Getting into the habit of personal reflection, measurement and analysis can be on of the best habits to get into. Remember habits are easier to form than to break.
 


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