It’s that time of the year again when we think about the upcoming year. We think about our future. We think about our hopes, dreams, wishes and goals.
And one traditional form of expressing these hopes, dreams, wishes and goals is through New Year’s Resolutions.
This year, I have come across several media and promotional writings that share the theme that New Year’s Resolutions don’t work.
In fact, I’ve been guilty of this in the past as well.
But today, I’m calling this a campaign of hostility. I think that anything that improves morale, stimulates positive thinking, and provides hope for a better condition should be honoured. I think that we should honour the New Year’s Resolution.
I’m not saying this because I think that everyone who is against New Year’s Resolutions is wrong. I don’t think that at all. But I do think that the reasons presented for being dismissive of New Year’s Resolutions are petty and akin to splitting hairs.
I ask: So what?
If the diet is cheated on within the first 48 hours – so what? If the gym membership doesn’t get used as many times per week as vowed – who cares? If the language course we resolved to sign up for doesn’t get taken this year – what’s the big deal?
The point is that the person who made a resolution made a conscious thought to try to be better.
One can always jump back on the diet after two weeks; can find another physical activity that we enjoy more than going to the gym, or put off that language course.
From anything we truly try, we learn. We may learn that our will power lasts only a short time. We may learn that we need to look at things another way. We may learn that we need support to do what is needed. From each of these lessons we will do things a little differently and be more successful next time. We may even learn that we simply just need to try again.
I think that anyone who makes a New Year’s Resolution should be commended. And anyone who doesn’t make them because “they don’t work, so why should I?” should look at themselves in the mirror and see if they see perfection.
And for those who have made New Year’s Resolutions? Don’t give up. Persevere. Learn and gro
Challenge: The client was submitting a proposal for a new project to an overseas customer under a competitive RFP process. The client faced the challenge of competing against strong competitors who were highly motivated to win. The proposal to the customer needed to convey that the offer provided by my client was superior.
Intervention: The Red Team review included a detailed review of key strategic elements of the proposal such as: corporate overview and experience, description of the solution offered, and, risk management planning. During the review, it was noted that the Risk Management section was substandard, and therefore we produced a revised Risk Management section that covered operational, technical, management, project and financial risks.
Result: Based on its proposal, the client was selected to move forward to the next phase of the customer’s selection process.
I recently worked with a client on their growth strategy.
This client was relatively small, and had developed a thriving business based on the customer value proposition of close customer relations, and developing tailored solutions that worked well. The client had a practice of constantly checking in with its customers, even when there appeared to be nothing to talk about, and this served them well.
But this company wanted to grow itself. It was exhausting its initial market space, and was looking to new ones.
We worked together to develop the business growth objectives, mission, vision, and its customer value proposition. We specifically stated what it was that kept their customers returning to them rather than courting the competition.
Our strategic alternatives for growth were ten distinct options, and using selection criteria, we came up with four priority initiatives.
We developed execution plans for each of the four options. The exercise clarified the growth path for the company, and enabled them to take real and decisive action for growth.
Challenge – The client was facilitating meetings that were to take place between several companies and a multinational major OEM. The meetings represented a significant new business opportunity for the companies. The client (the facilitator) was concerned that some of the companies did not have the meeting content and skills to make a good impression on the major OEM.
The objective was to help the companies prepare for the meetings. The ideal outcome was that the major OEM would be compelled to continue to develop new business with the company.
Showing what others say: using testimonials
Intervention – We developed a webinar package that dealt with the challenges of entering an important B2B meeting. The package included information on:
– The context of the B2B meeting
– Defining the companies’ overall business objectives
– The objectives of the B2B meeting
– The objectives of the major OEM
– Assessment of fit
– Initial relationship building
– Bringing value
– Using case studies
– Showing what others say: using testimonials
Result – The live webinar was presented to the companies, with a question and answer segment. The performance of the companies within the B2B meetings was markedly improved.