Overcoming a seemingly massive challenge…in bite-sized chunks

Recently I have completed a cycling challenge known as ‘Everesting’ whereby you choose a hill anywhere in the world and repeat the ascent multiple times in a single day until you have accumulated the equivalent height of Mount Everest at 29,028 feet (8,848 meters).

The first event described as “Everesting” was by the grandson of mountain climber George Mallory who ascended Mount Donna Bufrang in 1994, having ridden 8 repeats of the 3,507 feet hill.

Since then over 2,000 other cyclists have taken on the challenge and completed the same feet of endurance on other hill climbs all over the world.

However, with a failure rate of 90%, why haven’t more succeeded?

On the face of it, the challenge seems almost too much to endure in a single day but with the right amount of planning, preparation and a focus on taking bite-sized chunks, the task can be achieved.

Similar to any large-scale business decision that an organisation considers taking, with many perceived fears, uncertainties and doubts, it‘s only by understanding all of the elements for the required outcome, can you truly succeed.

Therefore, when looking at trying to improve the Order-to-cash or Procure-to-pay cycles you must decide on which particular area of the business you wish to concentrate on first. Then once chosen, focus all of your attention on reaching your required objective before moving on to the next area.

This way you can have the ability to not only prove the model works but also be flexible enough to have the agility to be able to change if required.

This is exactly what we try to promote to our customers at Esker. With our agile approach, we give the customer the flexibility to not only have control over the management of the project but also to be able to change it quickly, and with consummate ease, if something is not working as expected.

So, just as I had a fixed plan to achieve my objective, to reach the equivalent height of Mount Everest, it was only down to my approach to handle it in smaller chunks (of time and necessary refuelling stops), with the ability to be agile, that allowed me to overcome any unforeseen difficulties and choose the optimal route to succeed.

To understand more about agile working practices, take a look at: https://www.esker.co.uk/business-needs/challenge/agile-global-operations/

For more information on my charity cycling challenge visit:  https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/everestingsam

Sam Townsend

Sam is Head of Marketing for Esker Northern Europe and has been part of the Esker family since 2003.

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