There is an engineering company right next to our company named Vantage Point – I always liked their name. Given the right vantage point, many problems become alot easier to solve. Back in college, I remember one of my computer courses where we had to draw 3-dimensional items on the screen, and then given any point in 3-D space – show what that 3-D item looks like from that point – can’t remember many assignments from college anymore (some like Differential Equations I am sure I have purposely blocked out) but this one was one that still seems important – I don’t work with any computer graphics but the concept of viewing problems from different angles and perspectives seems to be a recurring theme – whether it’s software or people related. I remember mentioning this in this previous post how attacking problems from different angles is a common theme in even geocaching and business intelligence.
Last month my whole extended family was in the Black Hills staying at a KOA campground – and we took a family hike up Harney Peak – something I had not done with nearly 20 years, my wife, daughter and son had never done and a first for 2 of my sisters, their kids, etc. If you have not done the hike before – its worth it – just about a 2-hour hike up the trail from Sylvan Lake with the best view in many states from the fire station at the top
And I am amazed throughout by how much the perspective of our goal and where we have been changes in as little as 15 minutes of hiking
From this view which is pretty much how it appeared from our campground
to this once on top
On the way down, in less than 30 minutes coming down the switchback trails, we would look up to the peak, and the tower again appeared to be so incredibly far way and it was hard to fathom that we had just been there.
So, what’s my point?
Well, our work is like that, alot – the daily grind of work, tasks, projects, sometimes fires to put out, etc and 365 days later, it feels as if you are in the same spot – until we really look at what we accomplished. On our team, we like to periodically update our statistics – number of clients gained, number of subscribers added, and check out the enhancements and processes improved and refined over the last year to really understand how far we have come – even though our desks and monitors are in the same physical place they were a year ago – we are so far away from where we started and its important to acknowledge that. Without taking the time to stop and measure how far we have come, I always find that our initial perception is that we haven’t gone very far or that we are still in the same spot and that can be abit demoralizing – but when the reality of our progress is backed by some metrics and statistics, I find it gives us a much more clear view of what we have done, how far we have come, and how fast we will make it to other goals. Yeah, the proper vantage point (and tracking some metrics) can often totally change our perception of reality. I guess that’s my point.