Thinking Inside the Box

January is Time for Regrets and Resolutions

January 15, 2013
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So we all (or most of us) ate too much. We certainly celebrated too much if Christmas is a holiday we do celebrate. But in the last quarter of the year, most major religions do celebrate. So let’s agree that Q4 was a big time of buying, eating and drinking, celebrating and gift giving. And, of course, regrets.

Which brings us to January and the year ahead. After a long career in creating great products, processes and programs across many continents, there has rarely been a January when retailers and their supplier community do not reflect on the year before at the same time as focusing on the opportunities in the year ahead. We’ve all done our SWOTS. We all know we missed some very major milestones and achievements last year. And we also all know that there some great goals in front of us for the year ahead. As well as lots of carryovers from last year.

But we must not ignore the regrets. We must not bury them with heaps of excitement for the opportunities that are in front of us. We must really dig deep and understand from every possible angle why we didn’t achieve what we wanted to. It’s no good sighing and saying “we must just do better.” I hear that every year from all corners. It’s the old issue of not crying over spilt milk. But we MUST. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I see so much of this. One client of ours re-shuffles the entire management every December. That may be too extreme. But it does clear out the super glue that bonds every one of us so personally to the initiatives we created.

Please think clearly about what you carried over. Why wasn’t it completed? Why did it not work as expected? What got in the way? It’s like looking at your innovation pipeline. There are tons of projects in there that didn’t make it out the other end and get launched. Shouldn’t you bite the bullet and scrub a whole bunch from the system to make way for the newer and better opportunities that are waiting in line?

Why not move some of the dead wood out of the way that is stopping you from encouraging new and stronger growth?

January is also a time for New Year resolutions. Maybe get everyone of your management team to give you 10 New Year resolutions. Not personal ones, like losing weight, or taking more golf days, or developing a new pre-retirement hobby. NO! Resolutions to clear out some projects that didn’t make it in favor of new areas of endeavor that will add value to 2013. Quickly and sustainably. Sometimes, a sharp scalpel is better than a soft Band-Aid.

Till next time.

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