Getting Over It

Posted Thursday, January 31, 2013 by Beth A.


By Beth Austin

With the new year comes new possibilities, new opportunities, and, of course, a slew of New Year's resolutions on which we will make varying degrees of progress throughout the year. People are generally used to making (and breaking) personal New Year's resolutions, but for business leaders, the list should also include goals for their organizations.  One's personal and professional goals are often inter-related - and the process for successfully achieving the milestones is similar for both.

I was reminded of this once again last weekend in the midst of my efforts to make a change in my personal life. It's an important change that is long overdue and I just need to get over it already. I reflected a bit on why my particular issue had been going on so long and I realized that without conscious effort, our approach to addressing either personal or business challenges is often ineffectual. As a critical thinker who favors processes, I almost immediately got a visual in my head that looked something like this:


Cycle of a Failed New Year's Resolution




Since I'm blogging this right now, I can't gauge the reaction, but I imagine that if I shared this in a public forum it would be met with some sheepish looks and nervous laughter -  along with chorus strenuous denials (see Step 1 above).  So, how can this process improve?

Although one should always iterate, measure, and improve once a new process or behavior is put in place, it is important that the approach to achieving success be a linear model instead of a never-ending loop. In a work setting, your resolutions or objectives might be to implement LEAN businesses processes, execute an organizational change, or address a personnel issue (with the latter being very ripe to fall in the cycle of failure shown above). A linear model, with success measurement, might look something like this:


Hopefully, if you haven't already made your New Year resolutions, you were able to think of aspects at your organization that you wish to improve as you read this post. Making a change is never easy, but a thoughtful process can help. And remember... there's 11 more months until next year, so you don't have to do everything tomorrow. 


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