The Hydration Principle

You’ve heard it said that the human body depends on water for survival. It’s true: Humans can only survive 3-5 days without water—less when subjected to conditions of high heat. A single day without water significantly reduces bodily and mental performance. If you have ever gone a whole day without some form of water – you know this is true, and probably remember the headache and lethargy that ensued.

Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function correctly. For example, your body utilizes water to regulate its temperature, remove waste and lubricate joints. Water is essential for good health.


So why is an e-Commerce Business Development Expert opining about HYDRATION?

Well…two reasons really.

1.  I agreed to participate in a “Corporate Challenge” at my client’s office, called “WATER WEEK“. Under a meeting agenda item called “Fun and Health”, CEO of POS Supply Solutions, Stephen Enfield, challenged the entire staff to drink as much water as is recommended (6-8 servings per day of 12-16 ounce glasses). He even distributed travel mugs and bottles to the team with instructions to LOG their daily intake for one week. Each person then submitted a guess as to the total volume (in ounces) that would be consumed by the entire team for the week.  At the end of the week, the one with the closest guess wins a prize!

2.  The analogy of HYDRATION is important to apply to achieve health in the course of everyday business activities.  Let’s take a look at the core benefits of hydration mentioned above:

  • regulation of temperature – In business, you never want to overheat.  Overheating means peaking too soon. Overheating causes friction and damage to the internal gears and most delicate parts of the engine. Overheating is the root of melt-downs and on occasion, the dreaded death-spiral.  Strength and momentum are built on consistency and definable, repeatable processes.  While spikes in productivity (high-velocity) can be valuable, it is important as a business manager to facilitate an environment that is conducive to consistent achievement.  Overheating ultimately results in loss of focus, exhaustion, and friction (operationally and inter-personally).  water-sweat
  • Hydration = Fueling Steady Growth and Managing Environmental Variables that Effect Productivity. Helping all the “cells” work in concert is always more productive than having a few cells that are forced to over-produce and ultimately dissipate under pressure.
  • removal of waste – Let’s not kid ourselves…we have all crossed paths with “dead wood” as some point in our professional lives.  The concept of dead-wood can be applied to both people and processes.  Either way, we are talking about CONSUMERS vs. PRODUCERS – where consumers TAKE more from the system than they GIVE.  Sometimes that may indeed be someone on your team who is only willing to do the bare-minimum and has the “that is not my job” mentality. These types of people are synonymous with “waste”. Hydration in this case is equivalent to a) mentoring and managing this person, helping them get to a place where they can reach their potential OR b) the unfortunate step of “evacuating the waste”.  In terms of processes: I can’t tell you how many hundreds of times I have heard the response, “That is the way we have always done it…“.  How many times have you heard yourself say that??  A helpful exercise (Hydration) is to periodically evaluate workflows and processes (once per year is sufficient for most businesses – more often if you are in start-up mode).  On most engagements, I quickly find steps that can be altered slightly, but make a significant difference to productivity and profitability. For example – one client had a customer service rep that each day would review open orders, and email out individual invoices to each customer – this process would take between 20-30 minutes every day.  When asked “why”, the painful response was, “Well…that is how I was trained…and I guess we have always done it that way”. Hydration in this case was taking 10 minutes to write a script to automate that process. Now, that process is a single click of a button. That same 30 minutes per day is now spent on up-selling and pro-active customer engagement initiatives.  So not only is it MAKING MONEY, it is SAVING MONEY (30 minutes x 5 days per week x 52 weeks per year = 130 Hours Annually)!
  • lubrication of joints – When you are young, it is easy to take for granted the value of being nimble, of being flexible, and having quick reflexes. If you are older, er…I mean…more mature (like me) you have not only come to appreciate the benefits of youth but have spent considerable effort to regain some of it. And it gets HARDER with age…doesn’t it? (or so I have heard…) Joint pain can be debilitating, and in many cases prevents you from being able to do many things that are often taken for granted. The same concept applies in business.  If you are not Building Up, you are Breaking Down.  If you are not EVOLVING, you are DECAYING.  Think of each person as a cell or group of cells – and each department as a limb or body part.  Your arms can’t pull or push if the joints are stiff or non-functioning. In the same sense – sales (the forearm) will have a very hard time reaching forward for a customer if marketing (the upper arm) has decided it needs to reach up for the stars!  Hydration in this case is both physical and operational. Hydration is keeping your employees HEALTHY (ie. Water Week Challenge), HAPPY (ie. rewards for achievement) and most importantly… working together for a Shared Purpose.  Communication and Team-Building exercises are akin to Hydration Therapy – and FLEXIBILITY is king in the world of business evolution!

Fitness and Health

Life depends on H2O.

Success depends on the recognition and consumption of H2O…”How 2 Operate”.

So… Keep your joints hydrated and flexible, thus maintaining your ability not only to be re-active when necessary, but to be pro-active because YOU CAN.

btw…I will post to let you know exactly how much water I drank this week 🙂


About ecommadvisor

E-commerce enthusiast, evangelist, speaker and consulting leader. Founder of several successful e-retail businesses including - #1 footwear retailer in the world on eBay and Amazon. Now a full-time consultant, helping small to mid-sized businesses worldwide achieve their multichannel sales and marketing goals.
This entry was posted in Beyond e-Commerce, Business Development, eCommerce "Best Practices", Financial Health, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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