A heat wave, at least in Canada, has resulted in some record temperatures and nearly unbelievable thermostat readings this past week. With temperatures surpassing 40°C (that's 104°F for the American readers) and even getting as hot as 46° (114°F) where some of BMI's staff is, it is understandably difficult to focus on work. The allures of the pool, beach, lake, or any other such means by which people are trying to beat the heat are made even worse than in years past by the fact that local restrictions are finally being relaxed, and the population wants to capitalize on it. Such a combination of factors ultimately poses the question: are you in a position to be able to enjoy the weather?
It's a difficult question. Not merely out of some arbitrary calculation on whether there is enough banked holidays or vacation budget to take a few days off, but out of the underlying business principles. Are you in a position that, if you take time off from your company, things will continue to operate smoothly? Do you have reservations or doubts about how long you can take off before things start to go sideways? Are the day-to-day logistics of your company secure and sufficiently established to be executed without your discerning eye? Have you put yourself, accidentally or intentionally, in a situation where you and your business are synonymous, and one cannot exist without the other?
The expression "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen" has been on the BMI radar for this last week, in both the business and personal sense. When the temperature is 40°C across the entire country, how do you "get out of the kitchen?" In that same vein, when the pressure of work is overwhelming, compounded by desire to capitalize on the weather, how do you take the departure so desperately needed? Can you even take that departure?
The answers to these questions only have a starting point. Despite the implication of the proverb, leaving the aforementioned kitchen because of the heat is not a weakness. Recognizing and responding to external situations by reacting in a way within your control is far from weak; it is a critical strength that modern society does not often promote. The heat of the kitchen - or the country - very well may be too much. Accepting a weakness is the start; building a plan to overcome that weakness is the goal. July's BMI challenge, then, is to look at your own "kitchen" and start to determine how you can handle the heats within. Decentralizing processes or automating them so you can take leave the kitchen when you want (or need to) is one such way; analyzing where the heat is coming from and if that proverbial burner even needs to be on is another. No matter what solutions you start to devise, BMI is here to provide the support and infrastructure your organization needs to make them a reality.
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