It occurred to me today that we focus a lot on the outputs of our work lives but not enough on the inputs. What it takes to make things happen.
It can take inordinate amounts of energy and commitment to bring about change in our organisations. This is true on a personal level as well as a collective one. Finding the reasons to summon up the energy to push, pull, cajole and inspire sometimes unwilling participants is not always easy. I often think that my work, whether my consulting, keynotes, podcasts or blog posts like this one, is helping people keep their energy up in the face of often considerable adversity.
Energy management is also a useful way to think about how you manage social networks, either inside work or facing the public. Watching where energy is focussed and where it is dispersed. What increases it and what saps it. How it changes over time and how it flows.
Any successful social enterprise initiatives get this right. There is a significant up front investment of energy, often from a committed individual or small group, to get things started. They then do the right things to increase and spread that energy wider. Those initiatives that fail, despite appearing to have done the right things, do so because of a lack of individual or collective energy.
Energy management makes all the difference. We should get better at it!