New Year Resolutions

An estimated ninety percent of new year resolutions never get executed. The same applies to organizational strategies, which, in many cases, resemble wishful thinking more than serious commitments.

Why is that?

  1. A new year resolution is nothing more than a goal–and goals are accomplished only when executions are directly linked to them. A goal without an immediate execution plan is a dream. The same applies to strategies that remain intentions unless and until they are connected to specific implementation plans.
  2. Setting goals and stating wishes is fun. Getting things done is work. Who among us would not prefer the former and wish to avoid the latter? The issue is that execution avoidance can become a part of the corporate culture, resulting in stagnation and decline.
  3. Many cultures in society and business value announcements more than results. Each unrealistic promise of politicians as well as each PowerPoint slide deck represents a high probability of promises that will never turn into reality.

What to do?

  1. ALWAYS set goals with concrete plans for execution, starting within the following week (or a month, in cases where there is an ambitious organizational objective).
  2. For each resolution or goal, write down (the writing bit is important!) the first three execution steps, including due dates. Do this immediately after stating the goal. In corporate strategy meetings, insist on identifying these three steps without delay. Do not close the meeting before you have decided on them.
  3. Start to act within one week, better yet, on the same day. Begin to do something, even if it involves taking only a micro step toward the goal. The first three steps are often the most difficult ones.

Happy new year! May your new year resolutions become true. Now you know how.


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