Harnessing Momentum in Business and in Life

“They were winning, but then they lost momentum.”

“Boy, the momentum has clearly shifted in the other team’s favor.”

“They have BIG MO on their side now.”

Those three sports clichés are repeated in almost every sports telecast. It doesn’t matter what sport–football, basketball, baseball. I’ve heard them in men’s games and women’s games. I’ve heard them uttered from professional games all the way down to pee wee leagues.

What is momentum exactly? And since it’s so powerful in sports, do teams practice it? Where do you get it? It’s an interesting phenomena. If you ask a hundred coaches how they achieve momentum, you’ll probably get a hundred different answers. Most, however, will agree on its definition and attest to its power.

Ownership + Measurement= Accountability. When we all agree on that, we pull in the same direction. When we all pull in the same direction, we start gaining momentum. We define momentum at our company as the third step in our annual planning. We create our annual strategic plan. Then we get our team aligned with our plan by assigning owners, measuring the results, and holding them accountable. Once those steps have been executed, we discover the momentum happening inside our business.

It’s not unlike the sports momentum–hard to explain, tough to understand, but fun to ride. Our real moments of clarity are when it is not happening. Then we have to go back and inspect what we expect. Something in the strategic plan or with the owner of the priorities has to be tweaked–or maybe both. But we know that if we get the strategy right, and the alignment is true, momentum is on its way.

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