Starting the Next Season

Sports teams and schools measure their progression in seasons. The chance to regroup is built into the rhythm of the annual cycles. Players and coaches come and go. Teachers and administrators change roles. The off-season provides the opportunity to recover from the depletion of the past year and gear up for the beginning of the next round. Even if your team doesn’t have defined seasons, the need to refresh is just as important. Here’s why.

Living things – relationships, teams, groups, organizations, communities – evolve in cycles. Norms and values get established in the beginning. Trust matures from that foundation. The resulting connection creates a platform for growth. The team adapts to the change it has created. The next cycle begins with refreshed norms, deeper trust, more innovative expansion, and another recalibration.

Consider the triggers of a reboot.

  • Leadership change
  • Merger/acquisition
  • Accomplished goal
  • Relocation
  • Promotion/demotion
  • Innovation opportunity
  • Business growth
  • Workforce reduction
  • Retirement

Each of these events ends one season and begins another. The end of each cycle signals the team to mourn what’s been lost, take stock in what’s been gained, and embrace the new circumstances. Like a night’s sleep or a winter’s dormancy, the transition to the next phase requires energy to be restored to the system before it can be invested in a fresh stage of growth.

Teachers and professional athletes always seem to return from their breaks in an optimistic state of mind. They’ve processed the lessons from the previous season and are excited for new possibilities. Most importantly, they’ve embraced the gift of beginning anew.