Groundhog Day – Are you inexplicably living the same day over and over again?
October 6, 2020
Does anyone else feel like our lives are becoming more and more like the movie “Groundhog Day”? To jog your memory, it’s the comedy from 1993 where Bill Murray stars as Phil Connors, a despondent weatherman who gets trapped in a time loop and relives February 2 over and over again until he finally gets it right (okay, no more spoilers, go watch it!).
If the plot of this instant classic resonates with you as we navigate a season with a lot of uncanny parallels, you’re not alone. A podcast I’m a huge fan of called “The Rewatchables” broke down this film and dissected why it’s one they just can’t stop watching, especially right now. The hosts covered some of the more obvious takeaways through engaging prompts—the classic draw of the déjà vu story arc and how we like to pull for the overcomer. Then they started to get into some of the more granular, interesting details. To make the movie compelling, can you imagine how hard it was to act the same scene over and over with just a tiny bit of variance? What about the challenge of building to positive character transformation within the day-to-day repetitiveness, and doing so in a way that keeps making us want to watch the film?
As I was listening to the hosts (@BillSimmons and @SeanFennessey) address these various talking points within the framework of the most rewatchable scenes, what’s aged the best/worst, etc., one transferable takeaway became very apparent to me—the role of perspective. There are a lot of factors that are out of our control right now in the glazing industry, from the start and stop of the economy to adjusting midstream to meet adaptive reuse projects/new build demands and supply issues as material providers experience their own challenges in this unprecedented time. While we may not be stuck in a time loop like Connors was, there is no clear, immediate end point to this season on the horizon. People across America wake up every day at home and work at their kitchen table, their kids are online home schooling and people are not traveling. Then they wake up the next day to do it again. How do we successfully operate in this new environment?
As Connors learns and the podcast covers so humorously, it’s all in the shift of our mindset.
When faced with the same challenges repeatedly, instead of throwing in the towel, we have the unique opportunity to look at what is and isn’t working with a critical and measured eye. This may mean it’s time to expand on what’s driving sales, effectively adding to your customer base or expediting the supply chain process. On the opposite side of the coin, it may mean it’s time to rectify what isn’t working. Were items or processes overlooked during busier periods? Is it time to scale to meet demand and accommodate a sudden sector surge like healthcare?
While the natural tendency may be to radically shift the needle when looking for ways to improve, one practical takeaway in reviewing “Groundhog Day” is the value of building to success in small increments. Connors didn’t go out and get a new identity. He re-evaluated and re-committed to his role as a weatherman. Then productive changes started to follow. This is incredibly hard to act out in a film, as “The Rewatchables” podcast covered. And it’s no easier in real life. But it sure helps drive positive transformation.
So, what are the hallmarks of your job and your company? What’s made them so successful? Start there and dig in. Then pay close attention to your customers and strategic industry partners. How can you assist within reasonable boundaries or parlay your skillset to cross promote?
At the end of the day, what matters is that we are moving forward with an eye on what we can do. We’re all operating out of a different framework than we were at the start of the year. While I can’t promise focusing on perspective will be the end-all, fix-all as it was in Groundhog Day (like I said, no more spoilers!), I do know we can work to make sure every day matters in the glass biz. And if you need a pick me-up along the way, go watch Groundhog Day. You’ll even get to see famed “Schitt’s Creek’s” Chris Elliott as Larry the cameraman—you really can’t go wrong.