The Hips Don’t Lie

Businessmen taking a play Break in a modern office to get ideas flowing

I’ve hit an age where everyone wants to tell me about the importance of flexibility in maintaining my personal health. My family perpetually “schools” me on what I’m doing incorrectly, as do my iPhone and most of the media outlets I follow on a regular basis. They overtly and passively relay messages about keeping all my muscles moving and healthy and, in the case of my family (because of an occasional awkward gate or groan when standing after sitting too long), the importance of keeping my hips fluid and flexible as my 50s continue to race away.

What these family members and mediums are telling me is that without focusing on building and retaining flexibility, it will get harder and harder to do not just what I am doing now, but also what I want to do in the near and distant futures. It’s all about keeping my options open.

Being flexible when younger wasn’t something I had to think about, it just happened. Then suddenly something changed (it must have been around age 40, progressing at 50) and I began to actually have to pay attention. So, I took up the Peloton. With a dedicated focus, or as some call it an outright addiction, I also began stretching again for the first time in decades and even tried the occasional hot yoga class for maximum impact. It’s not always easy to follow through on my commitment, but I can increasingly feel that I am getting back into a position where I can meet my current goals and leave open doors for the future in ways that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

As it turns out, this has all been replicated in my work life as well.

The focus on increasing flexibility is front and center at the heart of client dialogues I am having today. In discussions on our products and services and how we and they will evolve or need to evolve for the future, flexibility most frequently comes up. But it’s even broader than that.

Flexibility is an imperative in all aspects of business. The definition will change from individual to individual and company to company. For me personally, flexibility means stability and a continued ability to do what I want when I want, with the greatest benefit being my long-term ability to amuse my followers when filming my dance TikToks. In the workforce of late, flexibility means handing people the reins to their own work lives with loosened parameters around where, when, how, and with a focus on quality. In business in general, though, the definition of flexibility is a constant and means being willing to try new methods and processes, fixing things even when they aren’t completely broken, reaching for improved efficiency, and changing business models and moving with market shifts at will.

But, as with the body, so it is with business. Flexibility with age becomes more challenging and it takes greater commitment to make a change.

My recommendation?

In your body or the body of your business, you need to identify your problem areas (my hips for example), try new methods and processes (get recommendations from experts: a “therapist” or technology provider) and actively pursue various techniques designed to target those problem areas (they don’t have to be completely broken) and improve flexibility in order to continue to stand, walk, run (and, yes, cycle).

And then create a plan and stick to it. You will see great results.

Charles Sutherland, chief strategy officer, defi SOLUTIONS, has more than 25 years in technology management and strategy with companies such as Sagent Lending Technologies, Fiserv, and Accenture. At defi, Charles leads strategy, product management, and marketing with a focus on improving the experience of lenders and consumers.