We’re nearing the end of 2014 and one of the best investments of time you can make is to review the past year, very carefully.
To an amazing degree, we humans are creatures of habit. We are great examples of Newton's
Law that, "a body set in motion tends to remain in motion." We tend to plunge blindly ahead, repeating yesterday's mistakes and failing to learn from experience. Yes, we take great pride in the fact that we "can" learn, but my observation is that we rarely do.
We assume that what worked yesterday "must" be the way to go next year. Now, of course, we all know we shouldn't do that! We KNOW we should examine our records. We KNOW we should be innovative, creative and original. We know that, but do we do it?
When Jack Welch was the head of General Electric, he insisted that half the company's profits come from products and services that were less than five years old. Why? His focus was always on innovation because he understood that yesterday's methods would never work in tomorrow's world.
Take time - several hours, perhaps more - to carefully review the following questions:
1. What worked best in 2014? What surprised me, inspired me or taught me something new for my work or business?
2. What did not work, or is working less and less well? What was less profitable or less effective than I expected? What should I drop altogether in 2015?
3. What's new in my field? What are my colleagues doing that I should apply to my business in 2015?
4. What technology has replaced manual labor? Spend some time talking to colleagues, attending webinars and doing your own research. Technology continues at lightning speed and there’s been a proliferation in apps that do a bulk of the manual functions typical to the accounting process. Which ones will you investigate and implement in 2015?
Don’t do the same things and expect a different result. Instead proactively look into the future and identify the changes you will make.
Damien Greathead has worked with and trained thousands of accounting professionals. He specializes in marketing plan development and implementation, including social media integration, Technology advising, operational reviews and performance coaching.