The weather has turned. Hooray! Spring has sprung and I had a huge need to do some spring cleaning on our first warm weekend in what seems like forever.
So I decided to tackle the air-conditioner in the kitchen. We have an almost flat roof (electricians love us – not!) and so we have to have split systems around the house. There is an air-conditioning system above the sink in the kitchen.
The top of the system looked pretty grubby, so I thought I’ll get up there, clean out the filters and just tidy it up a bit. Then I opened the cover and woah – it was filthy! There were dead flies, even a dead wasp and the filters were putrid. (Sorry – I hope you’re not eating at the moment).
What I recognised at that moment is that we had unintentionally been putting the unit under significant stress over the last (too many) months (I’m not good at this cleaning gig) and this had not only been inefficient but also probably horribly expensive.
I also see this in teams. Everything looks OK from the outside. Nothing to see here. But then a new person arrives and challenges the status quo. This usually leads to a fair bit of conflict with a few of the old guard saying things like “We’ve always done it this way” or “so and so has always been difficult, you just put up with it” and suddenly you see that the whole structure has been under significant stress for a long period of time.
Maybe your system needs a cleanup; a bit of spring cleaning. Maybe it’s time to set aside some time to methodically and honestly work out what is working well and what could we do better. Are we unintentionally putting our team under unnecessary stress? What savings could we make if our people were less stressed?