Sometimes in life you just need to push pause – step back, review, and continue.
And it's the same in business. Proactive organisations make a point of taking regular 'pauses', and using these times to evaluate, focus, and then move forward. But what is so valuable about the step back? Number one, you see the bigger picture, number two, you start to look around you.
Pause, to see the bigger picture.
Taking a step back allows you to see more than just what is in your immediate line of sight. This broadens your vision and gives you new perspective on an existing situation. It removes you from the here and now, and helps you see/think about things differently. In so doing, you may get new ideas and find solutions to problems you may otherwise not have come to. Or you may even find that 'problems' shrink from mountains to molehills. Stepping back will also allow you to adjust your focus, and understand things in context. Detail is important, but sometimes we can get caught up in the detail, and completely miss the boat. Once you see the bigger picture, you are making decisions for your organisation from a better, more strategic, vantage point. Think about watching a soccer game on TV. As the viewer, I bet you have often decided where the next pass should go, before the player has passed the ball. You have a more comprehensive view which enables you to make more calculated decisions. You can see the obstacles. And the same applies to business; pause, for that more comprehensive, bird's eye view.
Pause, to look around you.
Just as you need to see the whole, you also need to look around. Moving forward is good, but don't allow one-way momentum to blind you from what may be sitting just to your right or left. If we go back to soccer... At times in the game, there is that player that fails to pass the ball at the crucial moment, and the goal scoring opportunity is lost. This player is too focused on pushing forward themselves, they don't see their team mate may in fact be better positioned to capitalize on the situation at hand. Do not let this be true for your organisation, or your team. You may have the resources you need to tackle a situation right beside you, or the potential to collaborate internally between departments to the benefit of all. Look around first, and then decide, together, how you will proceed to make the most of your current business environment.
Of course the tangible benefit lies in the final step; that is what you actually decide to do with the new insights the 'pause' has given you. Change direction / diversify / rebrand – there may be a number of actions you could take depending on your situation. But let's keep first things first; take a pause, evaluate, and then go from there.