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Optimal Conditions
by JoAnna Brandi

Every time I think of the term "optimal conditions" I remember the time I had the opportunity to study with Dr. Olaf Isachsen, author of the 'Joining the Entrepreneurial Elite' and 'Common Sense Isn't That Common Anymore.' Dr. Isachsen has the ability to distill complex ideas down to simple concepts and often has a sentence or two that ends up in my "keeper" file and as the subject of one of my tips. 
He once commented, regarding how things are at any time, "All conditions are present for things to be the way they are and no conditions are present for them to be any different."
Woah! For me that was not only an 'aha' moment but one of those phrases I promptly copied on to a sticky note and stuck up on the mirror. It's an interesting, non-judgmental way to view a situation. For instance when I look in the mirror and see more pounds than I want to, I think "conditions." So what conditions are present? The "too many calories" or the "too long sitting in chair" condition, or maybe it's the "didn't drink enough water" condition. Change the conditions, change the outcome.
Of course we are all waiting for "market conditions" to change, and there are plenty of indicators that say they might be changing, BUT while we are waiting why not take a look at other conditions in the organization that, if changed, would create a more successful and perhaps more bountiful outcome. 
What conditions are in place in your organization that keep things exactly the way they are? What conditions are holding you back from changing to meet the needs of the future? Do your processes, values, relationships, or belief systems hold you back? Do they keep you stuck doing things the way you used to, even though you know that can't possibly take you into the future?
Does your culture, your training, your customer base (yes even that), employee selection process, your assumptions, your accountant or your computer system keep you from opening your eyes to a new reality? Do the very things you pride yourself on put blinders on you?
Does your "position" in the market keep you from doing things that might be outrageous and possibly create something innovative? Does your management style keep you from engaging and enrolling people in the grand adventure of co-creating a new vision?
What conditions might have to change so that you can create a workplace where people are inspired to come to work each day? How can you refine and intensify your vision to challenge and excite your people? What conditions have to change so your customers will enjoy themselves more, come back and spend more money, bring their friends?
What's in the way of getting of where you want to be? What conditions exist? What conditions need to be different?
Conditions - just conditions.  What conditions have to change so the people can flourish and the company can thrive?
For many years, when I lived up north, I was an avid gardener. I would walk outside my house in the morning and look at the flowers, the vegetables and the trees. When they were not looking as good as I would like them to, I would ask myself "What conditions need to be different?"
Do I need more water, less water? Are the weeds taking over? Does the soil need to be turned? Is there a pest that needs to go? (Slugs were the bane of my existence at the time). Am I fertilizing enough? Are the plants crowded, should I move something?
Your department, your company, is your garden. What conditions need to be different for you to see a different result - a different and maybe a better outcome?
Go ahead, grab a pen and a pad and walk around and look at conditions - what conditions need to be changed?
Right now  I know the conditions in my kitchen need to be different (dishes need to be washed, mail needs to be sorted, and counters need to be cleaned) before I can call it a day and get some rest - so I am going to tackle my conditions and make them different, so I can move on to getting ready for tomorrow.  
Take the "Conditions" idea and create the thriving environment (Optimal conditions) where you, and all those who work for you, rush to come to work in the morning!
Go and prosper!


The Author

JoAnna Brandi

JoAnna Brandi is the Publisher of the Customer Care Coach® leadership program. She is the author of three books: "Winning at Customer Retention, 101 Ways to Keep 'em Happy, Keep 'em Loyal, and Keep 'em Coming Back" "Building Customer Loyalty - 21 Essential Elements in ACTION" and "54 Ways to stay Positive in a Changing, Challenging and Sometimes Negative World" JoAnna is an accomplished public speaker and a contributing author to numerous business publications. Her work in customer loyalty has been cited in Fortune Magazine, Sales and Marketing Magazine, The Executive Report on Customer Retention, US Banker, the Retail Advantage, The Kiplinger Letter, The Competitive Advantage and dozens of others.

You can subscribe to her bi-weekly Customer Care Tip for free and find more of her work at and .

Many more articles in The Customer Care Coach and Customer Service in The CEO Refresher Archives
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Copyright 2010 by JoAnna Brandi. All rights reserved.

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