4 Phases

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
— Paul’s Letter to the church in Philippi

Paul seems to be referring to exiting Phase 4 and entering Phase 1 in terms of the Hudson Cycle of Renewal.  Frederic Hudson, founder of the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara, teaches the cycle as part of their overall coaching methodology.  It is designed to help figure out what phase an individual or organization is in in their development cycle.  He says there are 4 Phases:

  1. Going For It – Passionate & Fully Aligned
  2. Doldrums – Disenchanted & Out of Sync
  3. Cocooning – Transition & Transformation
  4. Getting Ready – Preparing for the Next Chapter

He and his certified coaches (several SummitTrek coaches are certified) teach that every person and organization moves through all four of the phases multiple times in their lives.  Completing the cycle can take months or years. You might find it interesting that in working with business leaders and teams, we find owners and C-Level executives often see their organizations as either in Phase 1 or 4, while their team members often assess a Phase 2 or 3.  There is a clear and obvious disconnect.  High performing teams are unilaterally clear on where they are at and are undaunted by the fact that Phases 2 & 3 are essential steps in the journey.  (Yes, even high performing teams often have seasons in Phases 2 & 3!)

Copyrights prevent me providing more detail on the Phases (Hudson has a book where a lot of this is fleshed out and you can obviously find a lot of this on the web), but even without a lot of additional explanation, Phases 2 & 3 are obviously places you don’t want to live.  They are, however, essential places in terms of preparing you for Phase 4 and then 1.

Southwest Exteriors (SWE), a SummitTrek client in San Antonio, TX, has spent a lot of time in the Doldrums (Phase 2) and Cocooning (Phase 3) over the last few years.  It was important and preparatory time that now has them firmly planted in Phase 4 (Getting Ready – Preparing for the Next Chapter).  It would have been easy to see 2014, a year where they are on pace to realize a 60% increase in sales and many multiples of operating profit, as a season in Phase 1 (Going for It), but that isn’t the case.

There is a division of business lines starting, a new phone system to be installed, a new CRM in place this week, and a lot of crucial new team members just getting established.  They’ve been refining the team and removing some challenging team members.  They are working with SummitTrek, powered by EMyth, to get clarity on vision, organizational strategy, and systematically charting a powerful future.  As much as they would like to look at a calendar, see 2015 on the horizon and put a stake in the ground for Phase 1, they realize that some essential components of the organization are still finding their footing.

Phase 4 is replete with excitement and anticipation.  It also carries some fear and concern around change and the specter of a different future.  But SWE has done the work, has monetized the experiential currency of their time in the Doldrums and Cocooning, and are ready to chart an even brighter future… just as soon as they finish Getting Ready in Phase 4!

  • What phase is the organization you lead in?
  • No seriously, what phase is the organization you lead in?
  • What steps are you taking to move through the Doldrums and the Cocooning to start Getting Ready so that you can Go For It?  (Let us know, we can help)