“Think it over, think it under.” —Winnie-the-Pooh
After almost a year as compliance specialist at Shadowbox Farms, I’ve gone to OLCC meetings, read updates and interpreted rules. I wanted share a few key concepts that have become important to me, both on a personal and professional level.
Don’t try to solve undefined problems
The full scope of a project isn’t always apparent in the beginning. It’s important to take a deep breath and an intentional pause, especially before jumping into the complexities of a compliance situation.
For my first go at our license renewal I was filling out paperwork. I thought I had a snake of a problem tidily wrapped up, only to find out it was actually the trunk of a rather large elephant. Turns out I had a lot more paperwork to complete than I thought. If I had just reviewed the scope of the project first and outlined the steps (and any potential hurdles) before diving in, I could have saved myself a ton of stress. Lesson learned.
Alternatively, I have let compliance-related emails affect me emotionally, which quickly ruins my productivity. Defining the problem, taking a few deep breaths and talking it out with a colleague has helped me keep perspective and avoid turning a molehill into a mountain.
Get things in writing
Initiating an exchange (whether a phone call, email, or face-to-face meeting) depends on a multitude of things, including how time sensitive the question is and the other person’s schedule. No matter what, I always close the loop with a summary email.
The industry is moving and evolving so quickly that it is always worth the time to confirm (in writing) that everyone is on the same page whenever anything compliance-related is discussed. A second benefit to this process is that an email will serve as a reference a year from now while my memory might not recall all of the details. Nothing is more frustrating than having to ask the same question twice because you forgot the answer or thought it was a problem that wouldn’t come up again. Never make assumptions. Close the loop.
Here’s to another year of tightening up my thoughts, my process and my work. Cheers!