If you’re anything like me, you didn’t spend much time thinking about what your wedding would look like until you were actually engaged. I didn’t pass the time between classes by daydreaming about wedding dresses or drawing flower arrangements in the margins of my math homework. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t really prepared for all of the research and decision-making that goes in to planning a wedding. My fiancé and I have been on a steep learning curve throughout the process, and it hasn’t always been easy. I’d like to think we’ve been able to achieve most of our goals, and I’m genuinely excited to see how our plans turnout.
As I look back on the processes we used to plan our wedding, I was struck by how useful some of them would be in promoting organizational development. Here are three tips for achieving your organization’s strategic goals and improving its efficiency:
Establish and abide by budget boundaries
Making wedding plans before setting a budget is a recipe for disaster. It’s important to set your priorities and know how much you are willing and able to spend in each category to ensure that your priorities are realized. Similarly, before you start planning how you’re going to make organizational improvements, you need to know what resources are available. Will this effort be done entirely in-house, or can you hire outside help? Will everyone in the office participate, or are you going to have to focus on a few key individuals? Establish the scope of what’s possible by first determining how much you’re able to spend. Then you can decide which activities are the most important to achieving your goals and allocate resources accordingly. If your budget is tight, focus on acquiring resources that give you the most value. For example, it may be more expensive to hire a full-time consultant than a part-time one, but someone working full time can devote more energy and concentrate exclusively on your project.
Don’t feel beholden to lingering ideas of how things should be done
There are hundreds of websites, magazines, and television shows dedicated to telling you what traditions you “must” include in order to have the perfect wedding. It’s easy to be torn between wanting to include time-honored traditions while still wanting to maintain your own creativity and identity. Likewise, most organizations have established methodologies for undertaking all kinds of projects. There may be one-pagers and walk-throughs that outline how things need to be done, and it’s a good idea to reference these when you’re first starting out. Outside of legal guidance, however, don’t feel like you have to follow in the exact footsteps of previous efforts. This is your opportunity to shake things up a bit—after all, your organization needs a bit of change in order to get back on the right track. So why not use the opportunity to try something different? Adopt best practices from previous projects and then put your own spin on organizational development. Your new ideas may provide the necessary energy and direction to ensure success.
Be true to your vision
When planning a wedding, the temptation to get bogged down in the details is very strong, and you risk losing sight of the reason you’re planning the wedding in the first place. Just as the “end game” of planning a wedding is celebrating your marriage, at the end of the day any organizational development effort has to meet your office’s needs. Work with leadership and coworkers early on to develop a shared vision of success; then revisit it often to ensure that you’re staying on track. Other suggestions may arise during the process, so it’s important to have established goals to determine if and how new ideas may help achieve what you’ve set out to accomplish. Listen to what others have to say, but don’t feel obligated to incorporate their suggestions if it doesn’t fit with your vision of success. Organizational development is a big project to take on, so be sure to focus your limited time and energy on achieving the goals that you established in the beginning.
What processes have you used when working on organizational development?
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My colleague, March Leh, made a great point in his blog published earlier this month: “key audiences care most about progress towards project completion and visionary goals.” I wanted to hone in on a few critical points that form the basis of the most hard-hitting performance measurement for your government program or organization. While it is harder to track and then articulate progress made towards achieving an organization’s mission and vision, it is worth the investment of resources. Performance measurement and then sharing the facts can seem like a daunting task, but I have found success by focusing on the following:
Identify what is most important to your most important audience(s): This step is all about narrowing in on the aspects of performance that will show the value of your program or organization. This can be a tremendous opportunity to engage emerging leaders in your organization to take the reins. I have observed that engaging the full team with many diverse perspectives (and ownership roles) is very valuable in moving this chess piece forward. As a team, brainstorm and narrow: What are we currently measuring that shows the value of our organization to this key group(s)? What are we trying to measure that shows our value, but may not be hitting the mark? What important points are not even on our radar that would mean the world if we could track them and articulate them?
Explicitly link everything to the mission and vision: One of the most poignant phrases in the performance measurement world is ‘So what?’ After you have identified or even re-evaluated the essential components of your program or organization to enhance measurement and sharing, make sure the story of why these facts are important in supporting your organization’s progress to meet its mission and vision is crystal clear.
Break it down into simple and visual facts: Once organized around the content, one of the most challenging final stretch considerations is how to share this vital information with the people that matter most. Just last week I transformed a perfectly informative (and boring) word document into a tool that resonated with my core audience. I used an infographic, but there is a world of options. By simply changing the format and presentation of this content using dynamic shapes, color, and images, the information was transformed into a tool that resonated with my intended audience. The message was not just delivered; it was received. And it does not take an artist, just some intentional brainstorming about the key points to convey and how to truly convey them.
And don’t forget to infuse this effort with regular updates! Stale facts mean nothing.
What powerful performance measurement and sharing tips do you find valuable?
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Halloween isn’t the only thing to be scared of in October. Recently there have been a number of administration officials called to testify on topics such as Secret Service security lapses and the Ebola virus. Julia Pierson, the former Director of the Secret Service, found herself out of the job the day after she testified to Congress. Ms. Pierson’s inability to answer questions by a frustrated bi-partisan Congress ultimately led to her resignation. Thomas Frieden, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), faced a grueling line of questioning on his agency’s efforts to combat the Ebola virus. At times, Dr. Frieden struggled to provide satisfactory answers to the questions being asked of him by both sides of the aisle.
The scary truth about testifying on Capitol Hill is that the questions being asked by Congress are not easy and intentionally designed to trip you up. When leaders are unable to provide specific details and answer questions on the fly their agency’s credibility suffers and many leaders face damage to their reputation. Testifying in front of Congress can be daunting for anyone, yet there are a number of ways a leader can mitigate the risks:
1. Do the Prep Work
Of course, a presenter should research and be prepared for as many questions asked of them as possible. Agency leaders are expected to be aware of large and small details, and a presenter should be well versed in all aspects surrounding an issue, especially those being discussed by the media or general public. In reality though, you can never predict every question and given the scope of issues most federal agencies encompass, it’s impossible to know everything.
2. Know Your Committee
Do the research on who the committee members are, where they are from and their interests. Have they introduced legislation or amendments in your area? Do they have pet causes? Do they have personal connections to your work?
3. Practice, Practice, Practice
A presenter should practice in front of a live audience before the real event. Any practice session should be as similar to the real setting as possible, and the audience members should ask difficult questions and interrupt without warning to give the presenter experience of being in a difficult setting. Also, it can be helpful to prepare a list of hot topics that could come up during a rehearsal and practice how to best respond.
4. Use Support Tools and Techniques
When sitting in the hot seat, it’s always better to know that there are lifelines you can use when you don’t know the answer. For some leaders, having a quick reference guide on a laptop can provide the support needed to answer difficult questions in the moment. For others, having succinct key messages prepared ahead of time can be helpful. There are some leaders who have found that using innovative presentation software give them the competitive edge needed to thrive in a difficult situation.
As a leader, you may not always have the answers but with preparation and organization, you should always know where to find them. If you take a few proactive steps to be better prepared, know your facts, and find support tools that give you confidence, then you can minimize the chances that your failed testimony will be the story of the day.
What are some ways you have overcome the fear of giving high stakes presentations or testimonies on Capitol Hill?
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At Corner Alliance one of our core values is “Inner Voice”. We internalize and implement this value in many ways, but the gist is: ‘Say what you’re really thinking.’ We encourage every single one of our employees, no matter what their title or role is, to speak up and voice their opinions, concerns, questions, reflections, etc. By putting these genuine and unfiltered thoughts out in the open, we can have honest and meaningful conversations that move a project or process forward. Rebecca Knight’s recent Harvard Business Review article, “How to Get Your Employees to Speak Up”, reminded me how hard this can be when we’re working with our government clients. Knight notes how fear and lack of ownership are two major factors that prevent people from airing their concerns or opinions. Indeed, the last thing most of us want to do is “overstep”, cause problems on a project, or get on our managers’ bad side. But the truth is, constructive criticism (negative feedback) is equally if not more important than positive feedback throughout all levels of an organization. Just because we don’t want to hear something, doesn’t mean we don’t need to.
Giving and receiving feedback is not easy; most people find it inherently uncomfortable and shy away from it at all costs. Unfortunately, this tends to result in an environment where nothing can be criticized or questioned and resentment boils just below the surface, affecting team morale and productivity. At Corner Alliance, we’ve implemented several processes that have helped us foster a feedback-centric culture that we also bring to our clients:
1. Training. At a recent company All Hands, we had a facilitated training session focused on how to give and receive effective feedback. Here are a few of our main takeaways: No one likes giving feedback, but most people say they like receiving it. This creates a lop-sided environment where everyone is yearning for feedback but no one is comfortable or willing to provide it. When giving feedback, provide the feedback immediately (or as soon as possible and appropriate). Waiting until days, weeks, or months after an event to provide feedback is less effective and will make your team think you are holding on to past issues. Also, be specific. In order for that person to improve, you have to be clear that you are providing feedback and also provide specific examples of what went wrong or what needs to be improved next time.
When receiving feedback, the number one thing to remember is not to take it personally. For most of us, our first instinct is to get defensive and assume that the feedback is a reflection of our worth or value to the team. We have to be mindful that the person providing the feedback is doing so in our best interest and is trying to be helpful. Also, don’t just brush it off. Even if you think the feedback is misguided, recognize the effort that person took to provide the information and then think through exactly how you could improve in that area in the future. Lastly, put a plan in place to address the feedback and consider following up with the person who provided you feedback once you’ve implemented your plan to show that you took them seriously.
2. Practice makes perfect. The more often you give and receive feedback, the easier and more natural it feels. Asking your peers, reports, and managers for feedback increases the likelihood of them offering it more frequently. Offering unsolicited feedback shows your team that you are willing to give (and thus, receive) feedback.
3. Continue fostering a transparent environment and encourage feedback from all directions. Try implementing 360-degree reviews; they can be a great way to show your team that you want to hear what everyone has to say. Be sure to recognize your team members that are actively providing feedback, and offer different mechanisms or avenues for giving and receiving feedback. Some people are comfortable speaking up in a group setting, whereas others are more comfortable in a one-on-one setting.
We believe that creating a feedback-centric culture is crucial to our company and clients’ success—if you’re struggling to get your team members to be honest and speak up, try implementing some of these tips and let us know how it goes. And for more advice, check out this great video about “Giving Feedback for Strong Performance”.
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Competition isn’t a term that’s bandied around much in government. For many, it elicits aggression that contradicts the collaborative ideal of government service. Others may assume that their program enjoys a policy-defined niche that is immune to mounting pressure, dwindling grants or congressional accountability.
Compare this mindset to that to the private sector, where executives rely on the lens of competition to inform investment decisions and target communication to specific customers. Ignoring this usually results in loss of market share and eventually, irrelevance. Competition can come from anywhere – technology disruptors, social trends, regulation, new entrants – making it similarly applicable to government. With Washington tightening its belt each fiscal year, competitive assessment and positioning should be more closely tied to federal strategy.
Regardless of whether an organization is public or private, it should gauge how well it’s doing against others who offer complimentary products and services. (The same goes double for those whose mission or stakeholder base overlaps with another agency.) This is the essence of competitive strategy: taking an honest look at your organization’s strengths and weaknesses, critiquing how well you are equipped to move forward, and then implementing change with confidence.
In order to cut through environmental noise and stay relevant with those who matter, here are four steps for driving competitive strategy:
- Define performance metrics: Identify how your organization measures success today, and then ask yourself if these indicators really matter to stakeholders. Key audiences care most about progress towards project completion and visionary goals, and less about staffing decisions, budget allocation, etc. Unfortunately, most agencies today only track their internal capacity to get things done. It’s harder to capture mission impact, but doing so will yield more compelling outreach and adaptive strategy.
- Observe Environmental Conditions: Determine the current demand for your organization’s core offerings, and then forecast it out 5-10 years. For each business line, keep in mind the number of stakeholders served, future growth and opportunity to differentiate. If all of the above criteria received high marks, continue to Step 3.
- Evaluate Competitive Positioning: Compare your organization’s ability to perform against that of your peers, and don’t limit yourself to government! Brand recognition, cost of delivery and market share affect companies, nonprofits and federal agencies alike; and leaders in different sectors have their own unique style. If your organization stacks up poorly in certain areas, it’s probably best to hold off pursuing that shiny, new opportunity until you adopt more innovative practices.
- Prioritize New vs. Existing Opportunities: Whether narrowing focus on core offerings or expanding into new areas, all government agencies need to answer for their decisions. Before investing significant resources in a new project, environmental conditions and competitive positioning should at least display potential. Other opportunities have room for greater debate. A consistent methodology and well-defined performance metrics will help guide internal investments and defend these decisions to external audiences.
What elements of competitive strategy are most relevant to your organization? Do you agree that competition and public service are compatible?
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Washington loves buzzwords. Chief among those in the last 12-24 months has been “big data”. You hear it in radio spots on news stations and see it on bus stop posters. I get it; the technological capability of analytics to process petabytes and exabytes of data is allowing for previously unforeseen connections and relationships to be made known. While many government agencies have enormous datasets, many other agencies and most program level leaders do not. So does that mean that the big data have-nots are out of luck? In my experience, any agency and program should be looking to recent trends in analytics to better inform their decision-making processes, big data or not.
Last summer, OMB released memo M-13-17, giving government agencies direction on the ‘Evidence and Innovation Agenda’. As stated in the memo, “agencies are more likely to be fully funded if they show a widespread commitment to evidence and innovation.” Specific strategies listed for how to show this commitment are:
1) Harnessing data to improve agency results and,
2) Strengthening agency capacity to use evidence
So what if the agency or program that doesn’t have ‘big data’ to crunch? Are they off the hook or out of luck in being able to show their commitment to evidence and innovation in decision making? Here are 3 ways government agencies can show this commitment without having ‘big data’.
1) Use the data you have – Regardless of size or scope, all government agencies have access to some data. It may reside with your staff, or can be mined from your agencies stakeholders, but data exists. It might be customer requirements or levels of customer engagement on social media or many other things. It doesn’t require the acquisition of a big data analytics engine to mine the data. Engage with staff and stakeholders to unearth the data that is already at your agency’s fingertips.
2) Focus on quality over quantity – Agencies who don’t have petabytes of data can still use data analytics to inform strategic decision-making processes. Focus on getting quality data that truly reflects program and project metrics and performance. 200 data points that reflect the current state of a program will be far more informative than 2,000,000 data points that are only tangentially related to your projects.
3) Gather data points regularly and intentionally – Take a close look at each project and program and identify ways in which data could be collected to better inform decisions or shift focus to better meet stakeholder needs. Make data gathering a normal activity of each project and be specific and strategic about what information you invest time and resources into gathering.
‘Big Data’ isn’t for everybody, but data analytics can be if pursued in ways that make sense for your agency. What have been your experiences with ‘big data’ and data analytics?
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There are a lot of tech-savvy folks working in the government today. Many use social media in their personal lives and are familiar with the various platforms that are out there. But still, many are uncomfortable using social media in their professional lives or to promote their work at work.
Usually, this is because they don’t see the value that social media can add to their government program. How can social media help them? Why should they talk about their program? Does anyone actually read this stuff?
Despite these misgivings, sharing program information with your stakeholders is a great way to keep them informed and foster dialogue. A recent Business Insider survey found that people spend the most time on their computer on social media platforms—even more than checking email. The Atlantic published an article naming social media as the new press release and commenting on how officials are increasingly using these channels to communicate.
With this in mind, it’s important to help your coworkers understand how much can be gained by using social media. Here are four ways you can make the case for using social media as a communications platform in the government:
Share the data. When it comes to social media, there’s a lot of data available. Sharing some of this information with your program managers can open their eyes to the potential communities they can tap into online. For example, by using Twitter’s free analytics tool, you can share a high-level breakdown of who your organization’s followers are, where they’re coming from, what they’re interested in, and who they represent. This background may inspire your colleagues to take a leap of faith, knowing that they’re talking to their stakeholders directly.
Acknowledge the risks. The Internet can be a tough crowd. We’ve all seen the angry commenter – you know, the one who WRITES IN ALL CAPS. Or, the one who insists on the negative aspects of the government. It’s important to acknowledge that these people exist, but remind project managers that they are often the minority. After you post content, show your co-workers the responses. It will help reinforce that most responses are positive and represent curiosity, not anger.
Show Examples. There are a number of great examples of social media in the government. In fact, there’s even a website called “Great Gov Tweets” that rounds up the best tweets across the government every day. You likely also have several success stories of your own on your agency’s various platforms. Share these examples with your colleagues and show them how you can use social media to seriously engage with your target audiences. If that doesn’t convince them, introduce them to fellow program managers who have successfully used social media at work. Let these folks champion your cause and demonstrate the value.
Follow up. After you post about a project, share data about the response with the program manager. Showing the positive response from followers can encourage them that there is interest in their work and will, hopefully, lead to future collaboration. Encourage them to contact you if they have a project milestone, and if they seem hesitant, don’t be afraid to check in with them periodically to ask for content ideas.
These are just a few of the ways I have convinced my colleagues to explore the world of social media. What works for you? Share your thoughts with me at @LGBackhaus.
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The Federal Government is on the verge of a revolution in the way it communicates with citizens. Today, successful agencies and programs are embracing the content marketing approach that has taken the private sector by storm. However, many government leaders are struggling with how to implement a content strategy. At Corner Alliance, we’ve developed an approach called FedInbound℠ as a way to guide agencies and programs in their content strategies.
FedInbound℠ has three main principles for developing a federal content strategy:
- Do the easy things first. Many leaders want to make a big splash. They want an app that they can download on a smart phone. It’s a status item. The reality is that most stakeholders aren’t going to be interested in your app. If you are just beginning your content strategy, you haven’t learned what works and what doesn’t work. Take some time to build your audience through the more basic and often more effective approaches like blogging and social media posting. Work your way from the bottom of the content pyramid to the top and learn as you go before making large investments.
- Your people are your content creators. Most of the knowledge needed to create great content that your customers and stakeholders want is already in the minds of the people who work at your agency. They’ve spent whole careers learning and becoming experts. It’s almost a crime not to share that knowledge more widely. With the upcoming wave of senior federal leaders retiring, it’s all the more important to document that knowledge. It might require providing some help with idea generation and ghost writing, but the raw material is there.
- Focus on what stakeholders want, not what you want to say. This principle is one of the hardest for federal agencies and programs to follow. It is tempting to push your own message, and we all know that government review processes and other requirements can wreak havoc on otherwise good content. Always keep in mind: Who is going to read this? What problem will it solve for them? The alternative is that customers and stakeholders are just going to tune you out if you can’t give them targeted and relevant content.
Taking this approach, federal leaders can increase citizen and stakeholder engagement and make sure what they are doing is relevant to their customer. The good news is that starting with the basics at the bottom of the pyramid is inexpensive and yields a high return.
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In March, top Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the causes of federal employees’ low morale. The last few years have been challenging for federal employees and leadership. With a three-year freeze on basic federal pay rates, multiple government shutdowns, and unpaid furlough days steadily climbing, is it surprising that spirits are low?
While these strong drivers won’t disappear overnight, short-term options do exist to increase morale and improve performance. One such opportunity is promoting a culture of wellness.By wellness, I don’t just mean physical health. Employees today are motivated and more productive when employers care about their total quality of life, which goes beyond traditional wellness and includes physical, emotional, financial and social health.Medium-to-large employersspent an average of $521 per employee on wellness programs last year, double the amount they spent five years ago. Certainly the increasing cost of healthcare is one reason, but so is a uniform shift towards increased workplace productivity. So how can the federal government minimize discontent and boost the bottom-line through wellness initiatives?
Build a better workplace. Government entities and operations are unique, so why do workspaces not reflect unique needs? The “cube” environment is outdated and counter-productive, discouraging communication between employees, coordination between departments, and any sense of community. Employees spend a third of their workweek in the office. Ideally, they should feel comfortable there. I’m not suggesting drastic federal Google-esque sleeping pods, but providing more options to employees – multiple meeting room layouts, open floor plans, specialized workstations – will result in huge improvements. Give federal employees the flexibility to choose where and how they work best. It shows respect, allows the employee to feel in control, drives innovation, and results in less stress.
Emphasize education and treat employees like people. Back to the cubes…most federal employees eat in them like gerbils. If they don’t eat there, they schedule lunch meetings. Employees think that eating at their desk and cramming in meetings increases productivity. Wrong. In fact, taking that break is better for their mind and, therefore, output. Encouraging proper breaks and optional activities signifies a corporate culture that values employee wellness, resulting in less fatigue and a more productive workforce. Brown bag luncheons are inexpensive opportunities to encourage mental wellness and create a community of people, not resources. Recruit speakers on stress management or staying healthy while traveling. Better yet, ask employees to teach demos on their passions.
Compassionate leadership. Imagine two offices. In one, an employee is greeted with impatient colleagues, work-related questions, and closed office doors. In another, colleagues share coffee and discuss the weekend with their boss in the kitchen. Where would you want to work? The federal government often shies away from human engagement and focuses exclusively on a cognitive, rather than emotional, culture. Encourage informal relationships, which are vital to morale, teamwork, and productivity, to create a psychologically healthy workplace of diverse and successful employees.
Quantifying the bottom-line impact of wellness programs is challenging. It is difficult to communicate the value of a government program when benefits don’t easily transfer to paper. Nevertheless, a Virgin HealthMiles/Workforce survey found that about 87 percent of employees said they consider health and wellness offerings when choosing an employer…or leaving one.How do you promote wellness in the workplace?
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Wellness on the Road: How to Maintain Healthy Habits when You Leave Your Comfort Zone (and Your Time Zone) Behind
As a rule, I try to incorporate healthy diet and exercise habits into my daily routine. However, I have found that these habits can fly right out the window while traveling for work.
I have been on three weeklong work trips in the past two months, and I found it surprisingly difficult to stick to the healthy habits I had spent months developing. I went into my first trip with a great plan for how I was going to execute the “business” part of my business trip, but no plan for my diet or exercise over the course of the week.
During our first meeting of the trip, which was an early morning after a long day of travel the previous day, I went straight for the donuts and pastries – an unusual indulgence for me – instead of sticking to the fruit I had brought with me. Over the course of the day it became easier to say “yes” to another donut in the morning, a fourth (yes, fourth!) coffee in the late afternoon to give me an extra burst of caffeine, and dessert after a larger-than-normal dinner. Right off the bat, I was setting myself up for a bad night’s sleep due to the sugar and caffeine, which made our next three days of marathon meetings and flights all the more difficult. And the cherry on top (of the sweets and coffee, that is) was that in the mornings I was too exhausted to wake up early and exercise before my meetings. The lack of exercise made me feel even more sluggish and, quite frankly, not myself.
So, why do I wish I had stuck to my normal routine while traveling? If I had been more conscientious about my eating and exercise, I would likely have slept better, felt better, and been better prepared for the surprises that are an inevitable part of business travel. After sometimes succeeding and sometimes falling a little short on my next few trips, here are some tips for keeping up a healthy lifestyle while traveling for work:
1. Do what you can.
When you have back-to-back meetings or are traveling to a different location every day, as I was, it can be very difficult to find time to exercise without sacrificing time to network with colleagues, catch up on emails, or sleep. So, don’t beat yourself up if you just can’t do it. However, try to do what you can. Consider taking 5-10 minutes in the morning to stretch or do a few body-weight exercises. There are some great resources online that show you moves you can easily do in a hotel room. Or, if there are lunch locations in walking distance and you are free to choose where you eat, try walking instead of driving. A midday walk can do wonders for your morale, and your physical health. If you only have 15-20 minutes in the evening at the hotel, try a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout to save time. It’s amazing how 15 minutes on a treadmill in a hotel gym can give you a burst of energy that is better than caffeine. Speaking of caffeine…
2. Don’t over-caffeinate.
I can’t emphasize this one enough. Sometimes when you’re traveling for work, in back-to-back meetings from sunup to sundown, or are even in a different time zone, the temptation to over-caffeinate is huge. I definitely fell into the afternoon coffee trap on my first work trip, and I definitely regretted it. Normally, I will get a coffee in the afternoon once a week or so. However, on this occasion I took it to a bit of an extreme and as a result was jittery all afternoon, which certainly affected my ability to concentrate.
3. Have an accountability partner, if you are traveling with someone (and even if you’re not).
If you’re traveling with colleagues, inquire as to whether any of them have plans to exercise during the trip (if you feel comfortable doing so). Sometimes, just stating my plans out loud to someone else is enough to keep me accountable. You may also find exercising with colleagues to be a bonding experience. Whether you do laps at the pool or a light jog on the treadmill, activity boosts your endorphins, which could make for a more collegial, and enjoyable, environment on your business trip. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your colleagues, tell someone back home about your plans and ask him or her to follow up with you.
4. Write down reminders for yourself if you feel like you will struggle with eating well.
If you are a visual person like me, you are more successful when you can visualize your goals for the day. Most hotel rooms have notepads and pens or even sticky notes in the room when you arrive. Leave notes for yourself in your briefcase, on your bedside table, or even in your wallet to remind yourself when you go to pay for that sugary coffee, soda, or snack.
What tips to you have for being healthy on the road?
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