Making Your Family "Agile"

In our modern world setting, everyone is constantly on the look out for solutions that helps you to do more with less. How can we improve productivity and efficiency? How can we reduce the cost of running our business? These are questions that are etched on the minds of business owners and executives. 

In the course of helping our clients optimise their time and manpower resources, some of our research led us to gather more information about a software development process called "Agile". Agile is not exactly a new kid on the block. In fact, this methodology was developed in 2001 by a group of software developers who realised that the traditional methods were failing. 

Most business owners find it challenging to juggle between work and family commitments. At the back of their minds, there seems to be a voice saying that if only I can manage my time and resources better, my quality of life would definitely be better!

Now, what does Agile has to do with managing a family?

In the following TED video, Bruce Feiler shared about how he changed his entire family dynamics just by applying some of these principles adopted by Agile developers. If you have 18 minutes to spare (its a worthwhile investment since it could result in the end of morning madness you are experiencing daily). However, if you are hard pressed for time (all the more you should be watching it), here are some key take aways from the video:

1) Adapt and Be Flexible

We all know that family dinners are important but most working parents do not have the luxury of committing to meals everyday. Being adaptable means that you can consider shifting these meals to breakfasts or weekend brunch. This implies that you are still able to spend quality time with your children without any compromise. Such an illustration is an example of a benefit that you can reap by being flexible and open to adopting new ideas. 

Photo from:  http://emmadime.com/

 

2) Empower Your Children

Empowering your children helps them to grow wise and become responsible for the decisions they make. By teaching them the process of learning how to make wise decisions, you will save a lot of pain and resources in the future. In the video, you will hear about Bruce sharing about his experience of chatting with the bankers who worked with Warren Buffet. One of the biggest impression left in his mind was what they said about letting children learn to manage their allowances. "It is far better for them to throw a $6 allowance down the drain, as compared to a $60,000 pay check or $6,000,000 inheritance. While empowering your children may seem to require much time and effort in the short run, it will definitely pay off in the long run. 

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3) Create a Family Mission

Every person enjoys an engaging story. Bruce talked about the importance of reiterating your family mission, values and stories. This creates a sense of identity and purpose for your children to embrace. Worry less on the bad times and focus on building the good times is key to building up your children's self confidence and strength to overcome challenges in their journey of growing up. 

 

So perhaps you may like to give it a shot starting from this weekend, start by having daily family meetings, have a few checklists, ask a few questions on how things can be improved, start empowering your children to make decisions and choices. Hopefully you and your family will become more "agile" in managing your family and experience a better quality of life!

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