So I’ve had a hiatus from blogging about our 4 day week journey for a couple of months. Why? Well I would have a say a combination of being busy (aren’t we all!); and some disappointment (and maybe a touch of embarrassment if I am totally honest) that we haven’t started it yet.

We had been aiming to start taking the 5th day off (not just Claytons, but a genuine no-work-at-all-fifth-day) starting in November; but it wasn’t to be.

It wasn’t that we didn’t prove that we could be away from work without impact.  In fact, we nailed that part.  It also wasn’t that we didn’t keep up the productivity (remember we have to maintain 100% productivity in 80% of the time) – we hit our critical number targets as a team.  It was just that we didn’t get to finish all of our asset builds in time. And for once, our whole team knows that we don’t get to call it ‘done’ until it really is done.  And right now we are 80% of the way there. We can smell it, we can taste it, but we can’t yet have our cake.

When we run strategy for our clients, we tell them that when you set challenging enough goals, consistently getting 80% or more means that you are actually achieving really well and moving the needle on the long term goals significantly. And it’s true.  Set lofty goals and if you nearly reach them you will achieve great things; or ‘shot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars’ as the saying goes.

But this time we aren’t letting ourselves get away with 80%.  Because unless we nail all of our assets, we know that we can’t realistically maintain 100% productivity in 80% of the time. And so our journey continues.  We are still going to do it.  December and January are a write off due to public holidays and festive season shut down. But 1 February is our new ‘no fail’ deadline. If we aren’t able to flick the switch then, I suspect we may face mutiny … and most likely lead by the Directors :)!

My learning at this point in the journey – don’t allow yourself to stretch the targets once set. Normally I would, but when something really important is riding on it (like getting your 5th day off each week), the disappointment at not reaching it has stronger potential to discourage and, interestingly, a higher potential to demotivate if the target seems too far away…