I am not into New Year’s resolutions. Most of us know that we can have the best intentions; often setting ourselves up with unrealistic expectations. Instead, I prefer to look at letting go, have no regrets and establish realistic goals that I can break down into manageable, bite-size pieces. However, as we approach the end of the first decade in the new millennium, I have realized that that my methodology to establish short-term and long-term goals will be influenced by an ever-changing business and technology landscape…more than any other time.
“Relax…It’s only uncertainty”…Dr. Graeme Codrington, Montreal, December 6, 2010
The motivation for this particular blog comes from a recent experience I had in Montreal. I am a believer in professional development. As a speaker and educator, I work with organizations who invest in developing their people. Therefore, it is a value that I practice myself. I attended my own association of professional speaker’s annual convention a few weeks ago. This year it was known as “The Unconventional Convention…A Quantum Journey.” Everything about the sessions and the speakers demonstrated the power and wisdom of doing things in an “out of the ordinary” way.
Why? Because the times we’re in demand creativity and innovation in order to survive. There is no “normal” anymore. Without acceptance of this fact, entrepreneurs, business owners, leaders and individuals will become irrelevant; just as many other businesses have disappeared because they could not or world not adapt. By “irrelevant”, I am referring to your business, your brand and the manner in which you interact with customers. Think about the application of this truth; regardless of where you work or the nature of your enterprises.
From my perspective, re-thinking the way business is done is the new imperative. For example, if I wish to grow professionally and personally, I need to let go of what worked five or ten years ago and do things differently. New technologies have made it possible to work virtually; from anywhere in the world. The evolution continues regarding the manner in which we communicate. If my clients or prospective clients wish to connect with me through social media, then I need to adapt accordingly. If they tell me that they no longer want hard-copy handouts or will be using electronic evaluations from now on, then I need to respect their green initiatives. As a disseminator of information, I realize that audiences now interact during presentations by using smart phones to spread the word, take notes or share ideas with each other instantly. How do your customers wish to interact with you? Can you accept it?
The new realities of how we connect and interact obligate us to remain relevant. It is no longer easy to stay comfortable and continue to do we have always done. The marketplace and speed of change won’t tolerate complacency. Doing “business as usual” may have worked prior to the great recession. The problem was that this mindset that got so many businesses into trouble. One could reflect on recent times and conclude that the economic meltdown was necessary to shake us up in order to re-think the way we do just about everything; a giant wake-up call from which we are still emerging.
- What will you priorities be in 2011? Are they in balance?
- Are your values congruent with how you live each day?
- How will you differentiate yourself?
- What are you willing to let go of?
- What positive changes will you make to your attitudes regarding customers and technology?
- How will you practice creativity and innovation; personally and professionally?
- What will you dare yourself to do differently in 2011?
Wishing you all a happy, peaceful and prosperous new year.