Whether you’re pleased with the business results from this past year or not, the motivation for the new year is always to do better. But there are four attitudes that you want to be careful of in 2018 and below are some courses of action to help you adjust.
One: The challenges you’ll face in 2018 are the same as those of the previous year, and that you’ll meet them the same way. Not necessarily. That assumption can narrow your perspective when it needs to be wide open. You’ll risk missing at least one real challenge during the year that’s new and different. Your competitors are active and determined to disrupt commerce whereever they can to gain the competitive edge and reap the rewards.
2018 looks to be a year of radical change domestically and internationally. To disrupt the disrupters, change passive language from “I think I can” to “I can and I will.” For your team motivation, it’s “We can and we will.” Each circumstance you’ll face will begin with these words. As a reminder, put the words on the wall of your conference room.
Two: Deregulation and tax incentives could provide a better environment for business growth. But what’s good for one company may not be good for another. The gift of a lower tax bill — if you actually get one — requires a careful look at where to spend the savings. Larger corporations and small businesses have options. You can add needed equipment, reward and retain employees and provide a start for an internal skunkworks project to develop new products and services. At least you’ll have more choices to stay ahead of the competition.
Three: You’ll have a stable workforce. If the economy grows at the rate anticipated, people will be seeking greener pastures. The pent-up need to explore new opportunities in new companies, both for career development and personal challenge, will be high. Both can be fulfilled in 2018. For retention, focus on doing whatever it takes to hang on to the best on your team. Expand their responsibilities, offer new, meaningful challenges, and ask for their advice on long-term possibilities.
Four: You’ll continue to lead your company. Are you sure you have the energy and competency to lead under conditions of radical change? You’ve given the company the direction and resources that brought it here today. Have you adopted the habit of always thinking you will be the leader? This is a real personal challenge that requires serious thinking and action. You may need to adopt or tweak your succession plan and test whether it is time to seriously implement it.
Strengthen the people on the list with new challenges that stretch their competencies, and provide opportunities to develop new ones, especially those related to the company challenges of the new year. Initiate or revise your strategy development process to assure it’s focused on the right opportunities. Have the right people assist you. This can include any new employees with their “fresh eyes” and an eagerness to succeed.
Success in 2018 has no clear answer unless you let your imagination play a role. I hope you achieve everything imaginable in 2018! For the changes you make, be rooted in the past and immersed in the future.