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Time For Reflection—And Back To Start-up Mode

What’s working — and what’s not? Where do you stand today, and where are you headed? 

Answering these questions and more is reflection: a thoughtful practice that’s integral to success. Reflection the process of analyzing, synthesizing, and identifying lessons learned. It’s when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable so we can peel away layers and become self-aware — in our professional and personal lives. As a result, we can refine our goals and course correct. We can create a workable and realistic map. We can grow forward. 

​​​​As we reflect today, recognize that to some extent we are all in startup mode, no matter the size, age, or type of business. In many ways, we’re working with a blank canvas — perhaps with some outlines and eraser marks, but space to draw new plans. 

Start-up mode offers a unique opportunity for reinvention as we look toward 2023 and beyond. It gives us a chance to take a good, hard look at the way we recruit, retain, and develop our employees and how we support them. 

Now is the time to reflect, reboot, and recommit to best practices that will sustain your business and employees through good times and bad, through boon years and recessionary times. As we move into the new year and beyond, here are some start-up success factors to put into play.

  • Get Out of Your Comfort Zone - Put yourself out there and push yourself to do things that are uncomfortable. As the Einstein saying goes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”  

  • Learning is Continuous - Lifelong learning keeps you sharp and relevant, and it challenges you to find new solutions to problems. In a learning culture, people are given the tools and resources to develop and grow as individuals and members of your team. By prioritizing learning, you set a precedent for continuous improvement. 

  • ​​Expect Failure - You can’t win them all. It’s important to understand that failure is not “the end,” but instead a new beginning to start over. We learn more from our failures than our successes. 

  • Build a Great Team - and Be Good to Your Talent  - It’s all about the people. A loyal, talented team is your greatest asset. Appreciate what each person brings to the table and let them know that their contributions are important for the company’s success. Set the bar high when building a team because people are an investment in the future. How do you show your employees they matter? Do your benefits align with a vision to put people first?

  • Solve the Problems that Matter Most to You - People can tell when you’re passionate about your mission, your service, or your product. In business, there are countless issues that crop up daily, and there are calendar pages full of projects to pursue. You can’t do it all. Prioritize what matters most and start there. Avoid overwhelming your team with “noise” and focus on activities that align with your vision. 

  • Use Data to Connect the Dots - The numbers we overlook or brush aside — or simply don’t know about — could provide the game-changing information required to make informed decisions. Information really is power. When you have the metrics and data, you can empower people to make smart choices from a business, health, and wellness perspective.  And as an organization, you can use data to connect the dots as you plan for the future.  

  • Prepare for Change to Happen Quickly - The last two years have taught us that change happens in an instant and there are many variables in business that we cannot control. What we can do is operate with flexibility, empathy, and a willingness to adapt. Who could have predicted a shift to remote working overnight? But here we are 23 months later — and we’re stronger for it. 

We’re in start-up mode where nothing can be taken for granted. And there’s something exhilarating about that—because it opens the door for new opportunities and positive change.

About Health Action Council 
Health Action Council is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization representing mid-and large-size employers that enhance human and economic health through thought leadership, innovative services, and collaboration. It provides value to its members by facilitating projects that improve the quality and moderate the cost of healthcare purchased by its members for their employees, dependents, and retirees. Health Action Council also collaborates with key stakeholders – health plans, physicians, hospitals, and the pharmaceutical industry – to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare in the community.

Patty Starr bio image

About the author

Patty Starr

Patty Starr is president and CEO of Health Action Council and is responsible for driving the strategic direction of the organization--build stronger, healthier communities where business can thrive. 

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