Resolve to Know Causes of Effects

By Stacy Cornay for the Times-Call
Publish Date: 01/05/2014

I rang in 2014 with a pain and a puzzlement.

The pain was low in my back. It wasn't life-threatening or disabling. It was just an annoyance, like a piece of popcorn lodged between your teeth. The puzzlement was the cause. What precipitated the nagging pain. What had I done or not done to irritate muscles that were now irritating me?

The answer came in one of those early-morning eureka moments that we sometimes have when we're somewhere between asleep and awake. Gift wrapping! That's what sparked the lower back muscle rebellion. And my thoughtful husband was the unwitting catalyst.

For years I sat on the floor to wrap Christmas gifts. Each year it was getting a little harder to get back up. This year my husband intervened. Maybe he was tired of my groaning and complaining or maybe he was truly concerned that this might be the year that I wouldn't be able to regain verticality on my own. His motives mattered not. What mattered was he completely reorganized my gift-wrapping area, down to a designated table and chair.

I used the table but not the chair. My bad. I bent in new ways. Muscles unused to such bending weren't cooperative. When I persisted, they resisted. The price they inflicted was dull pain in my lower back. Puzzlement solved.

As I was running laps at the rec center to work out the kinks and pacify the offended muscles, I had another eureka moment. Businesses are sometimes like our bodies. When we do things positively or negatively, our businesses gives us feedback. When business picks up, we're pleased. We're happy to have new customers and clients. We're smiling when sales are being made, when target audiences are responding and when we're coming up on the corner that good times are just around. However, when we're hit with reverse scenarios, smiles are turned upside down.

In business, we always experience effects, but how often do we explore causes?

All businesses have plans for success in 2014 and the years beyond. Each plan is unique to a specific business, has defined, targeted audiences and encompasses specific goals and objectives. To achieve its goals and reach its audiences, each business plan is backed by creative marketing, public relations and promotion strategies. Ideally, every business following its plan and implementing its strategies will be where it wants to be when the next new year dawns.

But success lies not in planning and implementation alone. Success requires an on-going monitoring of what is happening and what is likely to happen next. Success lies in exploring causes of effects, in determining what is working well and what is not, in listening to feedback that comes with business and responding quickly and appropriately, Success comes with flexibility and tracking and reevaluating and redirecting.

I offer these resolutions to reinforce your 2014 business plan:

  • Resolve to determine the causes of effects in your business.
  • Resolve to know why things are happening, positively or negatively.
  • Resolve to be ready and willing to make adaptations and changes.
  • Resolve to know what strategies are working and to accelerate them.
  • Resolve to stop doing things that aren't helping and to replace them with things that will.

Every day our businesses are telling us things we need to know. Like our bodies, they are telling us when things are running smoothly and when things are getting out of kilter. If we're listening and are perceptive and adroit, we can greatly enhance our probabilities for success.

If we're not, we run the risk of pain and puzzlement.

Stacy Cornay is the owner of Communication Concepts Public Relations & Advertising. 
Visit or call 303-651-6612.