Sum etiamtum – I am still learning. That’s my theme for this New Year.
As I think about the new year I can’t help but wonder a bit about what’s in store for us and marvel at how technology has accelerated (and will continue to accelerate) the pace of change with which we must contend. I don’t spend a lot of time wondering about the future, it seems like a bit of a waste to me. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in planning, it’s just that I automatically assume that the plan will be revised. The future never really comes and the past is, well, it’s past. We can’t affect it. So the only thing we can effectively deal with is what’s going on right now.
Having said that, I do try to at least get a feel for the macro trends in technology, the economy, leadership skills, education, etc. Armed with the best information I can find, I plot a course for the new year and start out on the journey. Like navigation on our sailboat, I know I’ll have to make corrections in the course due to wind shifts, currents and/or equipment errors.
When it comes to macro economic data, one of the sources I use is the Institute for Trend Research. They are predicting that 2014 and 2015 will be solid years of growth. Not explosive growth, but rather steady slow growth which, frankly, is what I think is best for our economy. The business owners with whom I deal are also fairly upbeat about the coming year. So the plans I’m hearing about all have conservative growth components. For example, hire only if/when the demand is there and not before. Keep overhead as low as possible by using part-time or temporary workers where possible.
Here are some more interesting trends, large and small, I hear about from friends and colleagues for the coming year:
- Outsourcing non-proprietary processes (i.e. HR, warehousing, IT storage, order fulfillment)
- Competitive analysis – using Big Data for mining major trends in the industries
- Focusing on customer service and using Social Media to help with that
- Leadership development – investing in promising executives and planning for succession
- Moving IT (at least some functions) to the “cloud”
My own plans are for growth this year as well. I intend to:
- Grow my Vistage business
- Grow my Coaching business
- Continue learning with courses around leadership, neuroscience, coaching and mentoring
- Grow our Consulting business (my wife joined us full time last year)
- Additional expert witness clients
How about you? What are your plans for the start of the new year? Do you make resolutions or just general “plans for the future”? I look forward to a fun year of continued learning, challenge and prosperity. I hope the same for you. May the best of your past be the worst of your future! Happy New Year.