Thursday, December 29, 2005

New Year Resolutions For (Re-)Emerging Companies

It is the nearing the eve of 2006, and the annual accounting of one's faults (disguised as New Year resolutions) has begun again in earnest. Recently as I set out to establish my own list, I happened to run across a press release that purported to offer the most common New Year resolutions. Interestingly, I noticed that these resolutions for individuals are also among the most important for the re-emerging organization. So I figured that this was a good way to begin the year, and to christen this blog - so here are the top three recommended resolutions for your re-emerging organization:

Live Within Your Means I'm not talking about your organization's cash flow or revenues here, necessarily. While that is certainly critical, you don't need to hire a consultant to tell you that. Instead, I'm suggesting that you and the people you lead recognize the limitations of one body and a 24-hour day. Select 3-5 things you and the individuals on your team can accomplish (this week, this month, this year) and finish them. This will not only be forward progress, but will encourage you toward completion on the next tasks. Don't get swamped by the list of things large and small that you know should be done, you'll be too overwhelmed to start. Instead, start with this list, for example.

Lose 'Wait' Many times the delay in making needed changes results from the desire to wait until a particular project or piece is deemed 'perfect' before rolling it out - a common over-correction to what might have been a contributing factor to the downturn - having rolled out the 'wrong' thing. But its important to go ahead and introduce a new idea, a new process, even a new website or promotional concept once it begins to resemble the desired finished product. It won't be perfect, but it'll show forward progress and allow others in the organization to contribute to the subsequent versions. Freely acknowledge that it is merely a start, yet represents progress and remind yourself and others that there's always an opportunity to offer a second, even third version... after all, even this is being written on a computer operating on 'Service Pack 2'.

Stop Smoking Somehow we feel guilty if we aren't in a constantly smokin', kinetic state when our company is in desperate straits... as if speed itself is responsible for positive change. Slow down! Speed is useful, speed conveys urgency, but used continuously or in the wrong context, speed conveys worry, a lack of confidence and uncertainty among the people looking to you for leadership. Read, listen, plan... and then take action. And hurry up already!

What are some of the resolutions you have for your organization? Mine include finishing the website ( and to keep this blog updated weekly. Let's see how I do!

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