We just lived through the Television presenting a retrospective on just about everything. Top 10 of this or the Biggest stories in that. But we need to look forward. Looking backward can help us, but we live for the future not the past. And the future is all about choices.
We get to make choices about what we want in the future and how we are going to get there. We talk about it in Philosophy as Free Will. A lot of time we feel that we can not make choices about the future. Part of that is that we live in a world of constraints. Our reality is one in which we have limited resources. That is true for everyone and every organization. Even something as large as the Federal Government or as wealthy as Steve Jobs. The Federal Government is constrained by its budget and Steve by his lifespan.
With the rain we are getting here in Sonoma County this week, we might stop thinking about one of our constraints in California. That is Water. Over the past few years we have had a lot of advertising done by the State of California to get us all to use less water. There has been a separate push for funding of a revamp of our water infrastructure. But to me, I look at this as a choice. In 2008, we decided to spend a lot of public infrastructure money on a High Speed Rail system. We took money that we could have just as easily spent on the Water System and spent it this way. We made this choice. So the State of California will have to try to get more money out of the taxpayers to do Water System revamps. The choices are not a matter of right and wrong. They are a matter of priority.
We see choice all the time in personal lives. If you spend money on credit cards and complain about the interest payments, remember you have made a choice. Now, people have made it easy and desirable to make that choice. But you can delay your purchase and wait until you have the money. Lots of people get large Credit Card bills in January and this is a great time of year for Bankruptcy Attorneys because of that. So before you buy something with credit, make sure that you are willing to pay the price of the debt.
Which leads us to Businesses. They can only do a handful of new things every year. Most companies can come up with dozens of initiatives every year. The conundrum is to pick those that you will do and save the rest for another year. I used to call doing this driving initiatives deeply. I had an employer that wanted to focus on landing larger deals. To me this was a whole company initiative. Sales would call on different people and treat large accounts differently. Marketing would have to provide materials that were more important to larger organizations. Product Development had to focus on features and functions for larger organizations. Customer Service had to be aware of the large accounts. Finance might have to adjust margin and cash needs on larger deals. That is taking an initiative through the company. Without that, what you have is a hope. I hope we can get bigger customers. What we want are plans. Here is our gap in serving larger customers and here is how we are closing it.
So, let’s look to the future and have a great 2016.
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