At this time of year, we’re bombarded with news of friends who have decided they’ll be running a 5K by February or are going to start a weekly podcast about crafting. Resolutions generally come to a sorry end shortly after the metaphorical ink has dried. For businesses though, it’s time to think of revolutions not resolutions as you enter a critical year for the organization. Here’s a few things to consider ahead of the return to work:
The Start of a New Year Doesn’t Change Anything
There won’t be many people sad to see the back of 2020. A change in date does not, however, guarantee a new start. Shifts in strategy and changes in trajectory are only set in motion by the active steps of leaders and the people who work for them, not by the switch to a new calendar. Don’t sit back and wait for 2021 to bring some systemic difference, but instead, seize and nurture change yourself.
Time To Experiment With New Ideas
As a leader, you’re always thinking about new and groundbreaking initiatives. There’s also no shortage of people with their own ideas, and you probably heard dozens of them over the holiday season on Zoom catch-ups or across the dinner table. When you head back to the office though, the realities of life get in the way, and what seemed like a great idea becomes a footnote in a dusty notebook or a forgotten app. Instead, take time to explore your ideas further and dedicate resources to making them happen. Trial the best ideas, capitalize on what works, step away from what fails, and make your business more agile and less change-resistant.
Underperformance Can’t Be Tolerated Forever
We’ve all made excuses for ourselves during the holidays – just one more piece of cheese, or a small slice of pie, perhaps? If we’re honest, many of us do the same things with our teams, letting dips in effectiveness slide for marginally more time than we should or not making difficult decisions because it’s easier to maintain the status quo. The New Year is a critical moment to make more fundamental organizational steps forward. Don’t forget that also means taking a look in the mirror to see where your own performance might be holding the business back.
Muscle Building Happens at the Office as well as the Gym
We tell ourselves we’ll lose the pounds we gained over the holidays by getting on that brand new Peleton bike. By the middle of January, most people are back to their old ways. Scientific studies suggest it takes around 30 days to create a new positive habit or shake an old one, so January is a good time for teams to start developing new muscles around acting in a particular way, communicating better with each other, and putting more innovative thinking at the heart of the enterprise. By the time you lift your head at the end of the month, you’ve already moved further forward than you ever thought you could – and the lift for the rest of the year just got that little bit more achievable.
There’s still massive uncertainty as we head into 2021, and it isn’t easy to know for sure how the year will pan out. Time to put your hands on the tiller and take ownership of the things you can control – sooner rather than later.