I have a ritual to conclude my annual planning process.
After working on my various business plans, personal finances, holidays, family and social goals, fitness plan, personal development and other targets, I review it all and seek a single word to summarise the direction I’m heading in.
I do this as it enables me to get a one word answer every time I question myself when I’m about to make a decision. With just one word I can access all my key roles and goals. It enables me to keep true to myself.
In the past three years I’ve selected: Focus, Faith, and Accomplished. These all meant something to me, at those points in time.
For 2022, I’ve allowed myself to break the rule and have two words, a short sentence in fact. One I’m taking the unusual step of sharing as I feel it might be appropriate for you to consider.
It’s the title of Stephen R Covey’s first habit. It has the underlying principle that there are always options and you are responsible for the choices you make.
Turning to business specifically, there are three applications that I feel are highly relevant now.
During a 1-1 with a Property Academy member just before Christmas, I asked what his biggest challenge for 2022 will be. “Recruitment” he answered. I pointed out that he’s had this same challenge regularly during the seven years we’ve known each other, and that it’s time to look at the issue differently.
In just about every sector, there’s a real shortage of talent and the chances of an “oven ready” candidate showing up at the point when you have a vacancy are close to zero.
Instead, create a FOC (Future Organisation Chart) for the next 2-3 years and start to recruit for these roles now.
Also, create a development programme akin to those of professions such as law and accountancy. The cost of training graduates for 18-24 months until they’re ready for the role you’ve recruited them for will be equal to, or less, than the premium you’ll have to pay for experienced people and their recruitment fees.
Sure, you’ll still have the immediate problems to deal with and will have to react to those, but by being proactive in your future recruitment, you’ll soon get ahead.
In order to deliver CX4.0, (see previous editions of four-i that describe the fourth generation of customer experience), automation is not only cost effective, it’s probably the only way to scale and deliver a consistent level of service.
My observation is that the only time many businesses review, update, upgrade or change their systems is after something has gone wrong. Instead, take a proactive approach by asking a few simple questions:
What do customers complain about? Is this due to human or system error?
Which system failures occur most frequently?
Which systems would break us if they went wrong?
Many companies are really good at reacting to market conditions, or perhaps that’s what they’ve persuaded themselves to believe, as opposed to realising they’re so reactive because they just haven’t planned well enough.
Spring, Easter, Summer, Halloween, Christmas, Winter, Bank Holidays – these, and many other events, religious, sporting and social, occur every year. Plan for each ahead of time.
“Be Proactive” is the habit of self control. It’s the realisation that anything is possible – if you believe in it and truly want it.
Rather than taking a “wait and see” approach, instead recognise that you’re in charge of you…no one else is….and therefore the year you’re about to have will be good, bad or indifferent based on the choices you make and, by being forward thinking, you increase the number of options to choose from.
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