No one should be surprised that the origin of the word business developed from the word busy. Old English connected it with anxiety and the state of being busy. Do you have a busy metric?
Use of the word business really took off around 1900. It hit a peak around 1920. Then it took a decline only to start to increase again around 1980.
What are your days like, are you busy? What about your team, co-workers, and the person behind the counter at the hotel check-in?
Whenever I casually talk with people about the work they do, their place of employment, or what is new in their world, they’ll often say, “busy.”
Organizations are too busy to get to the small stuff, too busy to train employees, and too busy to even think about strategy. Is busy just a catch all word that serves as a socially acceptable excuse to skip performance improvement efforts?
In other words, “I’m busy, leave me alone.” or it could also be a one-word-way of saying, “I’m successful, how about you?”
The financial planner wants to help you prepare for the future. The attorney, they want to protect or support you through law. At the tire shop, someone wants to be sure your riding on something safe. Their busy-ness is helping you.
What if you are too busy?
As a person with a professional services business, it is common for me to talk with people who are too busy. In between their expressions of busy-ness and attempts to persuade me of their success, I also listen for clues about problems. I learn a lot.
It seems to me the biggest problem that they have is that they are too busy. Too busy to enhance the customer experience, too busy to train their workforce, but still they express desperation about shortcomings, pitfalls, and a limited talent pool.
How is your busy metric, too busy?
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.