I'm sure I may be repeating myself here. I haven't read back through the archives of previous editions of Water Matters but I'm sure I've written about this subject before. I'm just hoping I didn't use exactly the same title! I may have, but then that's only because it's exactly what I think about when I'm addressing this subject. I learnt many years ago that wherever focus goes, energy goes too. Whatever you're focused on is what you end up spending your time on and working on. It's a natural law. You can't stop it from happening. Knowing this makes it a really useful tool to use to get stuff done. Especially in business. If you want something done, then just focus on it and you'll devote most of your energy to it. The challenge is, that like most things, even though you know that's how it works, that doesn't mean you actually acknowledge that and remember it as often as you should!
We've recently had a colleague over from Germany to spend a few days with us. Mathias Goldammer, who is responsible for all Scandinavian countries and also Spain and South America was with us for three days in March, one of which was our monthly sales meeting day when all the team are together at our head office in Banbury. Mathias is also the wastewater treatment specialist within the Export department at Graf in Germany. It was the second time that Mathias has spent a few days with us at Graf UK but it was for exactly the same reason. Almost two years ago now Mathias was sent over to educate us and help us to set up our wastewater treatment business in the UK. At that time we were only really selling treatment plants in Scotland and we were just starting to stock and supply them to customers throughout the rest of the UK, particularly the south of England. We had recently moved to Banbury so we suddenly had more room and we were expanding this part of our business, meaning we needed to know a lot more about assembling our wastewater treatment systems and we wanted to stock them, and then needed to know all about servicing and maintaining them, etc. It was a very useful few days the first time round. He taught us loads. And in fairness, over the two years that have followed, we've built a business selling our treatment plants. It's been a steep learning curve but definitely a successful one.
So why was he sent back?! Well, that's quite simple. Although we had made improvements, and for a good year following his initial visit we had focused on our WWT business, more recently we've been pulled more in the direction of our stormwater management business and we've taken our eye off all things wastewater to a large degree. Our focus shifted back to stormwater and as such, that's where most of our results have been coming from. So he was back to remind us, not all that subtlely, to not forget about wastewater! I love a bit of accountability, but when it's almost two years on and you haven't done everything you were supposed to, it can make you a little uncomfortable.
So guess where my focus is now?! Yep, we've already taken huge steps towards setting up the necessary service and maintenance network for our treatment plants. We've already held training sessions with some of our service partners and we are only weeks away from launching a new part on our website which will provide links to register for our product warranty, find our service partners, opt in for our commissioning service and much more, all about our wastewater treatment business. It's impossible to focus on several things at once and get them all done effectively. This lesson is my most recent reminder to focus on something, make a clear plan of what you want to get done, set a deadline for its completion and then go, go, go until it's done. Then focus on what's next. Simple!