New Year’s resolutions are an almost required part of transitioning into a new year. It’s a time when we let ourselves start fresh, but why do we feel compelled to do so? The tradition itself can be traced back to the early Babylonians. It was a chance for their people to take the opportunity to look back on the past year and resolve to make some measure of improvements to the world around them.
Much like personal goals, businesses also focus on this time of the year to focus on strategy and set goals to make some improvements in their circle of influence.
In fact, if you hadn’t noticed already, the volume of New Year’s resolution type blogs and articles is countless so I am glad you took the time to check out this post because here’s what I propose. What if before we get to the end of the year we start to focus on the improvements we need to make? Instead of waiting to review after the year is completed we strike while the iron is hot and take an honest look before the year ends to make some assessments for future goal setting and strategy for the upcoming year.
Let’s face it, by the time we get to October whatever trajectory the organization is on it will likely continue until some adjustments are made. So what if we started to build out the strategy in October so that we can look to implementing the building blocks before the end of the year. This way when we discuss our new year’s resolutions in January we are already making some progress to moving in that direction. After all, starting out in many cases can be the toughest part. Once we get some momentum we can start to leverage communication and continual service improvement initiatives to build on any success, and in some cases challenges, we are experiencing.
If I was to put this into an IT support example I might suggest that a goal would be to reduce incident durations from 4 to 3 hours. In this example we might also already know that the reason that we understand the constraints of doing this in the past since we have been faced with this challenge for the last 9 months. With this information in hand we could make an informed assessment on what might work better and begin to implement this from October until December so that in January we would begin to realize the results and have a solid start on the new year. This would give us a real look at an improvement strategy for the new calendar year rather that only seeing something which seems to start in March or April.
The road to improvement in the business will be just as difficult as making these sorts of changes in your personal life. The trick to keeping on track will be to ensure that the goals we are working on are SMART, that we manage them effectively through communication, and that they align to our business objectives.