I speak about governance a lot and I believe that governance applies to everything. With Mother’s Day coming up I would like to show how my decision making framework can apply to the holiday.
Authority – who decides what is going to happen? Whose mother is she? Does the oldest sibling make the arrangements? Does the sibling who is closest geographically make the decision? Does each sibling do their own organizing?
Diligence – you should have been thinking about this before now. Reservations need to be made, flowers ordered. If you plan a bit ahead of time you will be able to choose a better restaurant and the roses won’t be all gone.
Accountability – are you willing to accept the responsibility for your actions or should you talk some other sibling into making the arrangements? Note to those who are an only child – you have no choices here!
Prudence – is this the time to suggest that your mother would benefit from skydiving? Perhaps it is not the time to try that new restaurant. Maybe your family does not care about prudence.
Policy – does your family have a policy around this event? For example, if there has always been a gathering of some sort, this may not be the time to suggest that emails from each sibling would work. Unless of course, you had a gathering disaster last year and everyone vowed “never again.”
Transparency – if you have agreed to choose the restaurant and you are going to the place where you have a 50% off coupon, it would be best to tell people that ahead of time. In all cases you should be able to explain why you choose whatever you choose.
If you can follow the ADAPPT decision making framework you are maximizing your chances of achieving your Mother’s Day goals.
Let us consider our “five questions that any organization should be able to answer”, and apply it to Mother’s Day.
- Why does this holiday exist?
- Hallmark holiday – purpose to sell more greeting cards?
- Genuine recognition of a role well filled?
- What does this holiday mean to your family? Be honest!
- Whom does it serve?
- Greeting card companies?
- Flower companies?
- What is the plan to declare victory?
- Actual physical contact with the mother?
- Phone call?
- Flowers, cards delivered?
- What are the results?
- How can we tell if the mother was pleased with the activities?
- Anything that can be measured?
- If you decided this holiday is really about the children – then were the children pleased with the results?
- For example, if the goal was to recognize the long suffering mother and you ended up having an argument about the restaurant chosen for brunch with one of the siblings storming out of restaurant vowing never to speak to any of you again – is this the result you were going for?
- To whom are we accountable?
- Are there any consequences if the results are not good?
- Perhaps we have learned that each sibling should celebrate Mother’s Day at a different time of the day, avoiding any sibling interaction.
Consider the five questions – and see if you can improve the Mother’s Day experience for everyone.
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