May 28, 2023

What does my running ability have to do with your employees' business impact

Up until a month ago, at almost 45 years old and an active tennis player with the ability to walk for miles, I was not able to jog a single mile. It had been a mystery to me, especially when I have a marathon-runner for a brother.

It is not for lack of trying. I have tried many times. However, after multiple failed attempts I had written off being a ‘runner’.

About a month ago, while catching up with a couple of colleagues, I announced that I was going to attempt running again thus holding myself publicly accountable.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. I knew I needed to change tactics if I was going to succeed this time.

Small Changes

I made two small changes to my strategy this time:

1. I paid attention to my heart rate

My smartwatch displays my heart rate as I run so I noted what my heart rate was while I was jogging. I noticed that if I adjusted my jogging speed and focused on keeping my heart rate lower, I was able to run for longer without getting out of breath.

2. I set achievable goals

One lap around my apartment block is about half a mile. Once I registered this, I was able to easily set achievable targets.

Big Impact

I am happy to report that I have since crossed the two mile mark and jogging is now part of my routine. It is possible that without the data from the smartwatch, I may not have reached my  goals and convinced myself that ultimately I was not a ‘runner’.

Small Changes For Employees, Big Impact for Your Business

Most employees have untapped skills and areas of interest that they are unable to explore in their current role. Allowing employees to unleash their creativity and develop new and existing skill sets can have a profound impact on productivity, engagement and innovation.

The best way to do this?

Assess your organization's internal talent network and, if needed, improve it to enable employees to:

  1. Explore and experiment in new areas
  2. Set achievable goals and gain feedback on progression
  3. Share their achievements with others

Internal talent networks that enable this are typically characterrized by hands-on learning and reskilling through social learning, democratized access to mentoring, flexible career pathways and an internal gig ecosystem.

Successfully encouraging creativity and personal employee development could bear fruit to new possibilities, ideas and deliverables.

Speaking of new possibilities, perhaps I will finally be able to run the Standard Chartered Marathon. I leave you with this thought as I head out for a run.

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