For the third of us who make a new years resolution at the beginning of the year, half of these fall by the wayside come February and 80% of our commitments do not make it to the end of the year – so why bother at all?
Self-help guru Caroline Arnold addresses this in her book ‘Small Move Big Change’ and refers to ‘micro-resolutions’ as the best way to make any change stick. Most of our good intentions are too vast and vague so, therefore, unrealistic. Making smaller commitments which are more realistic and manageable is the best way to achieve the desired outcome.
Caroline Arnold argues that a micro-resolution should address a specific action which then brings you one step closer to the desired change. You should not undertake any more than two micro-resolutions at a time because changing a lifelong habit or set of entrenched behaviours – requires real concentration.
The same approach can be applied to the business goals that we set ourselves each year – as business owners. Most small businesses I talk to generally have the same goals i.e. to be more competitive, to embrace technological change and to be more organised and structured – in other words, to have a more sustainable business model.
With this in mind, a lot of companies can be very ambitious and sometimes overreaching with their plans (if they actually have any formal plans). Some goals may even be completely revolutionary and cause disruption and uncertainty within the business – without any real guarantee of success.
Certainly in my experience, if a client is looking to reset their sales function, optimise their sales performance or address a sales performance related issue – then applying a structured timetable of ‘micro-adjustments’ is more likely to have the desired outcome rather than introduce a ‘big-bang’ approach which involves numerous changes all at once i.e. evolution rather than revolution!
Introducing one or two micro-adjustments at a time – improves the chance of managing those adjustments and successfully embedding them into daily operational routines. Once these changes become ‘business as usual’ then that’s the time to introduce the next micro-adjustment. The goal or end result may take a little longer to achieve but with this slower more managed approach – the changes are more likely to stick and be more sustainable.
The only thing that is certain this year is that there is going to be more business uncertainty – especially in the first quarter. Introducing the changes that are necessary to keep a business adaptive, competitive and viable but in a more micro-adjusted way – is more likely to help any business better manage whatever post Brexit 2019 brings!