I find it difficult not writing about anything other than the insanity in the world today after what just happened at the theater in Aurora CO. Our thoughts and prayers to those impacted directly by this tragedy. I do not know how you can find meaning in innocent lives being taken by a twisted mind. I could ramble for pages about this but will not since I hijacked Ebsco’s Blog last week.
I instead wanted to talk about the costs of growth. Not the monetary costs, but the other costs. Wikipedia describes growth as: physical as in size or quantity or abstract as in becoming more complex or mature.
Think about kids. I have a two-year old sleeping in the next room as I write this. I added a couple of pics on here as a proud grandpa. He is growing in both manners. He is absolutely growing in physical size as he is in the upper 90 percentile for weight and height. Anyone that has been around Daven can lift him and tell he is growing. I can assure you my back knows he is growing. But beyond size he is growing in other ways. He is two and I believe the expression terrible twos comes into play. He is maturing. That is if maturing means laying down on the ground and not moving when he doesn’t get his way. As much as this can test our patience it is growth. Daven is trying new ways of expressing himself. As he ages I begin to miss the time holding the little baby. A short two years ago I cradled him in may arms on the swing. Now it is a treat to get him to stop long enough to fall asleep on your lap. While I miss some things I am so excited about many more. He is starting to talk. How exciting, for now. I’m sure as he “matures” in this aspect I will wish he talked a little less. He is throwing balls and pushing his trucks across the floor. Play time is definitely more interesting. He loves the I Pad (can’t start them too early) and thinks beating on Papa’s drums is great. So I see his growth as some things lost and some things gained. I have four older children so I am familiar with the process. This will go on until they become adults and move out on their own.
So what about work? We are seeing growth there also. Sales and revenue are growing. I sure have no problems with that. But do I? As sales grow, so do the challenges involved in meeting those orders. At some point you can physically do no more jobs in the time you have alloted, you run out of machines. Ebsco is reaching that point. The solution seems pretty easy. Expand the time you have allotted, also called adding a shift. If the machines run more hours, they can produce more parts. Problem solved. It’s a little more difficult than that. Ebsco has been looking at and preparing for a second shift for over a year. Since our current shift is ten hours a day Monday through Thursday, we thought we would be creative with our second shift. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 6am – 6pm. 36 hours and offer a shift differential to provide everyone with 40 hours pay. Problem solved!
The problem lies in that Ebsco is like one of the kids. As it matures you have trade offs. In my years working in retail, I had the opportunity to manage several 24 hour locations. These were always the big sales store and had larger staffs to accommodate the business. With the larger crews you could accomplish more, tackle more projects and have more employees to work with on their developments. All good, right? Not all. You had very little interaction with your third shift staff. They were an integral part of your team but face to face time was limited. It wasn’t the same. I often felt like I didn’t really know these people and were not being fair to them. I was unable to work one on one with them for extended time to help them reach their development goals. As the crews got larger and expanded the hours they covered, I lost a level of personal contact with them. I found it difficult to create the feel I always had with a compact crew with limit hours of operation. Everyone knew everyone and counted on their contributions. Now many employees did not even know one another’s names. Now that Ebsco begins to seriously explore expanding our hours I feel apprehensive that I will lose touch with those that branch out to our new schedules. People I know and talk with daily will now be visited with weekly at best. They’re family. How can we do this.
It’s called growth. Like the child that leaves home to move on their own. Parents stand back proud of their accomplishment getting there and sad that they will be a little less part of their children’s daily lives. So, when Ebsco moves to the second shift. I will look at the family with pride in the growth they have achieved and a little bit sad in what I will lose in my day-to-day routine from those moving on.