March Madness just finished and one of the most talked about aspects of the tournament was the concept of momentum. Media analyzed teams by how they got, kept, and then lost positive momentum throughout a game and within the tournament. It seemed, at times, having positive momentum was the most important factor in the tournament.
Over the last couple of posts I’ve explored the reality and causes of personal and organizational momentum. The question we all face at one time or another, just like the teams in the NCAA basketball tournament, is what do you do to get lost momentum back?
From my experience there are four specific steps you must take to reverse the negative momentum in any situation, whether basketball, personally or organizationally.
First, quickly acknowledge that you’ve lost momentum. This usually starts with believing the numbers. Numbers always tell you the direction your headed, not because they’re the whole story but because they’re the leading indicators of the story. Take it from a guy who’s made this mistake to many times – it is way too easy to ignore or explain away the numbers.
Second, don’t over react to your loss of momentum. Make sure you understand the causes behind the numbers and the momentum going the wrong way. This is the most important step because it’s tempting to fire a shotgun to solve potential problems before you truly understand the root causes.
Third, once you know and understand the root causes, decide on a course of action to change and get rid of these causes and redirect the course of your momentum.
Finally, you need to change whatever or whoever will get stop you from doing what’s necessary to change the momentum. And believe me there will be things and people who will stand in the path of any necessary change. So this will sound cold, but you have to be willing to move out-of-the-way, anything and everything, including people, who will work to stop you. If you don’t, I guarantee, your best laid plans will whither on the vine.