Top Lessons Learned in 2017

A favorite client and my local grocery store, The Dill Pickle Food Co-op, recently published their General Manager’s “Top Lessons Learned in 2017”. Given that it’s been a year of unprecedented change for them — taking on a move and a major expansion — I felt the list fit well. Then I realized that it also fit any small business or individual experiencing change… which is probably all of us. So I asked permission from Sharon Hoyer to share her words with you here as we close out 2017.

It’s been a year of unprecedented change for all of us, and in the time-honored tradition of year-end lists, I’d like to include in this last post of 2017 the top lessons learned in the year we took an itty bitty store and transformed it into Chicago’s flagship co-op.

  1. Know how to ask for help: from peers, from mentors, from your community. Even when you don’t know exactly what it is you need, ask. Someone out there has been through it before and has advice or assistance they’re happy to give. It’s the heart of cooperation!
  2. Invite critique. Don’t just embrace it when it comes your way, seek it out…and really listen. Folks willing to share candid feedback are giving you pure gold. Thoughtfully heeding thoughtful criticism is the fastest way to make real change.
  3. Communicate more. It doesn’t matter how frequently and to what depth you’re doing it, it’s probably not enough. If your organization triples in size, that’s like six times the communication that needs to happen. At least.
  4. Don’t fear new ways of doing things. Truly, the only constant is change. Something not working? Try something new. It might not work either, but that’s okay. You can always try something else. Trust, delegate, pick up new skills.
  5. Express gratitude. It’s in short supply these days, despite how much we all have to be thankful for. No one is alone, and when we keep that in mind not only do we feel a whole lot better, but we open up endless possibilities for collaboration. “Thank you” is as often the beginning of a great project as it is the finish to one.

Wishing you and yours a very happy 2018!

Source: The Dill Pickle Food Co-op

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