With another year passing and new decade upon us comes a moment of opportunity unlike most any other throughout the year. It’s a time that mandates real reflection. Individuals and organizations taking inventory of decisions and assessing opportunity on the horizon. A fresh start. Clean slate. Optimism. And for many of us that means resolutions. Find a new job? Quit smoking? Balance my work/life? Lose 10 lbs? Grow my business? Some of the more popular choices that typically make the ‘wish list’. I’ve been a “Resolutioner” – setting ambitious personal/professional targets and sprinting out of the gates January 1 only to lose momentum by the time the snow melted (that would be late April in Minnesota). And I know that I’ll see the Resolutioners out in droves packing the health club next week. It usually thins out again mid March. Why the fall off? My own self assessment related to both personal and professional/corporate objectives is lack of process and planning. Turning resolutions into results requires a game plan. A clearly defined strategy. What I am referring to this year as ‘Resolve 2010‘:
Review: Change requires an honest inspection and assessment. What specific decisions lead to the destination? And the critical component of a good resolution review is accountability. As a leader/manager, individual contributor or in your personal life its best to focus inward. Take stock of the I that impacts the “we” or “they”. Understanding where you’ve been is critical to help you get where you want to be going.
Reinvent: 2010 is a time for reinvention. Your company, your strategy, your brand/marketing and your career. In fact, the entire Jan/Feb issue of Harvard Business Review is devoted to this concept and offers a great read for the recalibration that is going to be required for many of us coming out of this recession. Transformation requires BIG ideas. But this is the exciting part. Change. Business models being ripped apart and reconstructed. Customer expectations evolving. Value propositions being reset. A global marketplace. New skills and competency required to compete. Opportunity that is now a constant moving target.
Reset: What I like to refer to as adjusting to the new normal. A faster pace. Constant change. Continuing education. A climate that mandates real authenticity and transparency to earn trust. Where BOLD innovations are required to stay even. Real reinvention requires working a different way. And communication and competency are critical components of execution in an environment where what you say is openly evaluated against what you do on a daily basis. When you hit reset as an organization you have a clearly articulated strategy and alignment around mission – vision – values. These guiding principles are clear in the minds of stakeholders and create a culture of engagement, performance, accountability and trust. And the organization of ME, Inc. can apply those very same principles.
Relationships: The most essential aspect to my own professional reinvention has been relationships. And a big part of my own Resolve 2010 plan is to do some real relationship inventory and focus on renewing and respecting the important relationships I have. It’s an essential ingredient to success. As a speaker, consultant and novice blogger I am fortunate to have collected new and increasingly important relationships over the last 12 months. It’s likely that people I didn’t know 12 months ago will read this, comment, offer a word of counsel, support or constructive criticism. That is a gift. And as the former Chief Strategy Officer for a division of a Fortune 500 enterprise, success was directly attributed to the strength of my relationships with colleagues, customers and the community (industry) we served. As a Manager, I was responsible for driving results for an organization that required a massive commitment from the team. As a Leader, I was responsible for serving and guiding others so they could realize their full potential personally and professionally. I’ve been in the Relationship Business a long, long time.
Resolve: This is the most essential ingredient for turning a resolution into reality. The elevated sense of discipline and commitment required to see it through to result and the understanding that effort and results are two very different things. It also means focus and clarity. Deciding what not to do and where not to spend time are essential ingredients to staying the course. If you want to accomplish a BIG thing personally or professionally in 2010 it requires alignment of a lot of little things along the way. And the elimination and avoidance of unnecessary and irrelevant distractions. In the words of legendary football coach Vice Lombardi you have to “plan your work, and work your plan.” What gets eliminated from the game plan is just as essential as what stays in.
I know that I am solely responsible for making my own Resolve 2010 plan a reality. But I am lucky that I’ll get by with a little help from my friends along the way.
Happy New Year!
Ryan Estis is a Keynote Speaker & Management Consultant blogging about business performance.