The New Year’s Liminal Moment

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

The new year is off and running. Your schedule is filling, and the work is ramping up. It’s a unique liminal moment when you’re entering the portal of the new year, and can still look back at the last one.

Before challenges and changing priorities capture much of your time, there’s an opportunity to assess your progress from ‘what is’ to ‘what can be,’ to evaluate what worked well and what must improve.

Last year, which accomplishments created the most value for your business? Why and how was that value created? Which initiatives did not meet expectations? In the coming year, how will you replicate or strengthen the value creating efforts, and either upgrade or delete those that inhibited your progress?

How did value created for your customers generate quantifiable benefits for your business? How much of this customer value creation can be attributed to the impact of your culture? How might sharing these insights with your team lead to new ideas for future value creation?

Of your internal value-creating accomplishments, which most improved your productivity, quality, responsiveness, and cross-functional agility? How were obstacles to this progress overcome, and how long did it take to resolve them?

How much of your time was invested connecting with key customers to confirm the value created for them, and to discuss their goals and needs going forward? How much was dedicated to specifically recognizing those personnel who made a difference for your customers and/or your business last year to help secure your accomplishments? How much was devoted to validating for your organization how these efforts reflect your purpose and culture, and their impact on successful strategy execution, goal

achievement and progress towards your vision?

As you ponder how best to invest your precious time and energy during the new year, consider these suggestions:

  • Remain outwardly focused, preserving key customer relationships by engaging with them to better understand market shifts, the barriers impacting the achievement of their strategic goals, and potential adaptations of your strategies;
  • Encourage curiosity, initiative, and collaboration in your workforce to generate improvements and innovations that can accelerate your progress while nurturing talent development;
  • Stay actively engaged with your employees to strengthen your culture, improve strategy execution, and boost organizational awareness about the linkage between the two.

How will you make the most of your new year’s liminal moment?

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