(Except tax laws, departmental budgets, and the number of times you scratch out the date and re-write it correctly).
There’s always much ado about “looking back at the past year” and “starting fresh with the new year”. And it’s always a lot of hogwash. As Bono once said (back when he was still cool): “Nothing Changes on New Years Day”. Or, to be more specific: Everything changes every day–and everything remains the same.
There’s this notion in business that “Tomorrow we’ll start fresh, reinvent ourselves, shift our paradigm1Do people still say that?!” Change, however, doesn’t happen overnight. It’s the result of long-term preparation and long-term planning. It also brings with it all the baggage of the past. “Today I’ll Change” isn’t an effective plan. Want proof” 80% of New Years Resolutions fail by February.
One of the Five Cliche Questions I ask is “Where do you see yourself (your company) in 5 years?” I don’t expect an accurate answer. Nobody can accurately predict all the obstacles and events that far out. What I do expect is a realistic answer. Are you realistic about the opportunities that will be available to you, and the obstacles that will stand in your way? Do you understand the need for planning? Are you setting goals that are both aggressive, yet achievable?
What’s the Plan?
Changing your business to keep up with the times (or get ahead of them) is great. But it takes a plan. Not a procedure or a set of steps, but a plan. What’s the difference? A plan has flexibility. It has contingencies, redundancies, and alternative paths. It’s changes, adapts, and evolves as it progresses. And it’s prepared for failure.
If you want make some changes–big or small–start planning. I’m sorry to say, however, that it’s too late to make that change today. We can, however, have your ready for National Doughnut Day.
No matter what your plans are for the new year, here’s hoping you have a great
2018 2019 (Does anyone have an eraser?!)
Blaze is the founder of Redleaf Consulting. He started as a dishwasher at the age of 15, and worked his way up to Director of Marketing for a Sino-German joint venture in Jiangsu, China. He has over 25 years of experience in education, communication, and marketing.
Footnotes [ + ]
|1.||↑||Do people still say that?|