“I’m glad he took our presents!”

Do you know who (hint hint) said this infamous line?

If you guessed Lou Lou Who from Jim Carrey’s The Grinch, you’re number one!

We All Need a Lou

I’ve been thinking about this scene a lot lately. 2020 has been a difficult enough year, and now the holidays are also feeling very different for most. It’s easy to feel as if we’re being robbed of “the most wonderful time of the year.”

Whether you’re also downsizing your Thanksgiving dinner table or are just not feeling the holiday spirit this year, it’s critical that we channel our inner Lou, embrace reality, and still give thanks for what we do have. Holidays, among other areas of our lives, do not always have to meet the measuring-stick expectations in our heads or even of years’ past – they can still be unique and just as joyous.

Sometimes we need something, like The Grinch or even a pandemic, to take away our “presence” and show us how our going-about-things needs to change.

“Isn’t This All, I Don’t Know, A Bit Much?”

I probably don’t have to tell you it’s all too easy to fall into the perfection trap, especially around the holidays. We buy, decorate, bake and do more, more, more to keep raising the bar on a euphoric experience – but, in the words of Cindy Lou Who, isn’t it all a bit much?

It’s not until times like 2020, when we’re forced to strip away the expensive shopping budgets, scrolling guest list and all the store-bought feelings, that we’re able to step back and be grateful for the unwavering heart of it all: being grateful for who and what we do have.

But the holidays and the home front aren’t the only areas we do this, are they? From the moment we step foot into our workplaces, we take note of all the things we, personally, wouldn’t touch with a 39 ½ Ft. pole.  Maybe it’s your records management process. Could it be there’s no online dispute resolution platform to counterbalance the courthouse’s foot traffic? Backlogged claims management can frustrate even the best insurance representatives. Why isn’t anyone eSigning??

And now, with increasingly more remote workplaces, your running list of “things to bring up” and “processes that don’t work” are multiplying and presenting challenges that you’re not even sure how to fix – it’s fair to say times are overwhelming.

But, just for a moment, I want you to take a step back and be honest about all these “urgent projects” and “to do’s”: is it all a bit much?

“Isn’t That the Chandelier from The Dining Room?”  

The first step to a successful digital transformation is not to stress about how much bigger and better everything should be, holding your organization in comparison to your competitors or the latest tech on the market – doing so only freezes your momentum. There will never be a perfect, one-and-done system to solve all your problems – there’s always going to be an upgrade, something more two-fold and a bit shinier. So just start with what you have, see what improvements you need and can make in a reasonable timeframe, and then take your budget to a trusted partner.

If you do impulsively stress, you’ll end up trying on all sorts of new solutions and plans, only to be disappointed every time. Finally, you’ll just say “That’s it, I’m not going!” – until, of course, something breaks or is no longer relevant and pushes the red button on your decision-making, forcing you down a tight, winding route and into a solution or vendor-relationship you weren’t certain about in the first place.

Starting with gratitude for what you do have and making incremental improvements as your budget allows will not only foster a more joyful process, but it gives you the space you need to think logically and creatively instead of under pressure and “feeling forced” – as if you were trying to keep your automation up-to-par with the esteemed Martha May Whovier’s twinkling lights.

Partnerships, Like Holidays, Shouldn’t Stink, Stank or Stunk.

Because of travel restrictions, quarantines and the reality that some people might just feel safer staying home this Thanksgiving, your dinner table may look a little different – maybe your favorite relatives aren’t there in-person or a certain side-dish staple, for the very first time, won’t be served.

Just because they’re not with you in-person doesn’t mean your loved ones don’t care. You can video-call them or send a cheerful card, and you will still enjoy the company you do have.

Partnerships are very much the same. They work with you and the times to make the best of your goals, circumstances and budget. They know, like Lou, that their relationship with you is more important than flashy presentations or star-studded promises. They may not have the biggest marketing budget, but they answer when you call. And if your allotted finances don’t quite cover your needs, true partners help you find alternate routes, like applying for CARES Act funding or signing up for a shared-services model. Like Cindy, they will also tell you if something “is a bit much” for your needs, while being able to recommend something more suitable.

And, most importantly, your partner should never, ever be Grinchy.

So as you navigate this seemingly unfamiliar season of both uncertain holidays and how, next year, you’ll need to adjust your processes to meet this increasingly remote culture, I hope you take some time to sit back and celebrate the simple. Find and enjoy what is working. Spend your time with people and business partners you enjoy, and remember to do what you can to make the best of it all – even if it’s not comparable with a Whoville Whobilation.

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