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Momentum Shifts

It was sixty degrees in Des Moines today, which had nearly everyone in the community thinking of spring. And if you're a dreamer like me you started thinking Chicago Cubs Baseball (pitchers and catchers report on Friday). As hard as I tried I could not help but think of how disappointing the end of the season was for the Cubs.

One game in particular was played in early September against the St. Louis Cardinals. It was impossible not to feel the October playoff like atmosphere as the Cardinals took the field. But like in nearly every National League Ballpark, there seemed to be as many Cubbie fans as there were Cardinal fans. The Cubs were experiencing a season like they hadn't seen in many many years so the fans out in full force.

The Cubs got out to an early lead by scoring two quick runs in the top of the first inning. They then scored again in the third inning and now had a nice three run lead. Ryan Dempster seemed to really be in command. The St. Louis fans had very little to cheer about and seemed to be sitting on their hands. It was quiet...almost boring. But then it happened. I got up to get something to drink and when I returned the Cardinal's had managed to get a runner on base. The crowd politely cheered. Then a second base runner reached base and the noise continued louder, like someone was actually turning up the volume. Smallteeter

There was a momentum shift happening.

Then what before my wondering eyes appear but Albert Pujols and a really big bat step up to the plate. The crowd noise went from zero to really loud in about rour seconds. Then it happened. Pujols crushed a home run. As you can imagine, Bush Stadium erupted and the game was tied. The crowd was back into it and ready to cheer there team on to a 4-3 win in the bottom of the ninth inning. Very exciting if you were a Cardinal's fan.

Today, in the quiet of my office, I began to realize how momentum shifts in business, too, especially today. It swings back and forth all the time, and it’s up to the organization to sense the momentum shift and make adjustments. Sometimes, such as with the fans at a sporting event, it takes an outside viewpoint to notice the subtle signs of changing momentum, and the organization has to be confident enough to listen and act on the outside advice. Outsiders can point out the signs of momentum shift, but it takes action from inside – an adjustment in tactics or a redeployment of resources, for example – to change the momentum back in your favor.

Like a game plan based on talents and the competition’s weaknesses, a sales plan or a recruiting strategy has to have enough discipline to take advantage of the organization’s strengths and enough flexibility to adjust to changing momentum.

What are the momentum changes you're sensing in your business? Is the momentum shifting for or against you?

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