A Season of Change

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by Coach Rob Balfanz

When you think of the word “season,” do you think of the weather or a sport? Where does your mind take you?

As a child, I equated the word “season” with the temperature, and now, as an adult, I often think of the word “season” as a period of time.

As leaders, coaches, educators and business owners, the daily challenges we face are often changing and, in some cases, are new or uncharted territory. There isn’t a playbook for all of the events around us, to us or our teams.


With this in mind, we must plan for the unknown; we must plan for the “season” to change.

As we work together to attract new talent into this industry, upskill current talent by creating a culture of learning and development for existing workers and change the narrative for the new pipeline of talent we will onboard, we must prepare ourselves, our teams, and our businesses for an ongoing Season of Change.

“Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success.” – Henry Ford

As most of you know, I coach baseball. To this day, I have yet to see a game or a season play out the same as any other before it. I often tell my players, if you want to win this game, you have to win each at-bat, each pitch, each out, 90 ft. at a time.

We call that “hard 90’s” in the game, and even though we won’t win every aspect of every game, we must win what matters the most.

I use this same approach in business, regardless of whether it’s in operations, production, recruiting, learning and development or training.

Here are some points I’ve learned in my experience:

Understand your customer!

  • Know your ideal custome
  • Know where to find your ideal customer
  • Understand your customer’s language
  • Be aware of how and where your customer purchases
  • Be aware of your customer’s price point
  • Be alert to what is important to your customer

Have a Playbook and a Back-Up Plan!

  • Sales/Finance
  • Marketing/Communications
  • Information Technology
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Operations/Fulfillment/Production
  • Warehousing/Distribution
  • Transportation/Logistics
  • Overflow/Growth
  • Customer Service (parts/labor)
  • Warranty (parts/labor)
  • Vendors/Partners
  • Pricing increases

Practice and Measure Your Playbook!

  • Have you followed the playbook, from point of sale to install and paid?
  • Does your playbook work?
  • Does your playbook have a contingency plan?
  • Do your team members have options when hit with objections?
  • Does your customer have a voice throughout each step in the playbook?
  • Does the playbook have clauses for the unknown?
  • Do your vendors/partners fit into the playbook?
  • Do you review the playbook regularly?
  • If technology fails, will your playbook still work?
  • Have you thought of everything? If not, keep practicing…

Don’t Practice to be Perfect – Practice Until Your Team Can’t Get It Wrong!

To me, business is a sport, and more like an art. It must be mastered to succeed.

“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” – Vince Lombardi

Looking back on the past few years, it’s easy for me to see that one thing for sure is true – things will change and change often. With this information top of mind, it should help as you plan for another season of change in 2022.


As the industry becomes more diverse and more reliant on technology, we must take the time to educate ourselves on its future.

In an article by BigRentz, here are the top “10 Construction Industry Trends To Watch For In 2022”:

  • Protective Equipment
  • Efficient Technology
  • Growing Need for Laborers
  • Remote Worksites and Mobile Access
  • Rising Material Costs
  • Green Building
  • Modular and Offsite Construction
  • Construction Management Software
  • Focusing on Residential Projects
  • Smart Cities

I think recycling and sustainability should also be added to the above list. Here’s why:

Recycling: Technically, “recyclable” means the reuse, reconditioning and remanufacturing of products or parts into another product, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Basically, things that can be remade into other things.

Sustainability: Sustainable manufacturing means creating manufactured products that use processes that minimize negative environmental impacts; conserve energy and natural resources; are safe for employees, communities and consumers; and are economically sound, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative.

If we haven’t seen enough change in the past few years, as you can see in the list above, we still have a lot of change coming.

It STILL is and WILL Always Be About the Details!

Spring training is supposed to be behind us, yet it is still, in some ways, in front of us. The season openers may be delayed, but that is no excuse for us not to be prepared for our season opener.

Start thinking about your home opener and how to get your team ready for another Season of Change. Prepare your team for sustainable, scalable growth, and be intentional when leaning into 2022 and another Season of Change!

“We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.” – Sheryl Sandberg

Have a question for the Coach? Want to learn more about any of the information above? Looking for transferrable examples of any of the topics discussed in this post? Or would you like to request a topic for one of the upcoming Coach’s Corner posts? E-mail the Coach!

Until then,

Be Resilient – Add Value – Stay Healthy – Deliver the Experience - Trust the Process!

To your success,

“Coach” Rob Balfanz, Senior Director, Workforce Development, VSI