New year resolution for small business: 3 wins in 3 months

Pondering new year resolutions for work? James Robertson of Step Two Designs offers an excellent suggestion. It's aimed at intranet teams, but equally applies to any small business. It certainly fits our business, which is all about web-based training and accessibility services.

A new year’s resolution for intranet teams: Plan and deliver three intranet “wins” in three months.

A "win" is an improvement that can be seen by others and recognised as valuable. That's exactly the sort of win that makes you feel good—and resolve to repeat the process.

How wise. How achievable. How satisfying.

A young family member has resolved to "be nicer" this year. I applaud the urge but privately worry that she has set herself an impossible task. Not to mention she is already plenty nice.

"Be nicer" or at work "be less stressed" or "work harder" or "work less" or "work smarter" or "write more clearly" all pose the same problem. How are you going to know when you get there? How many times a day will you need to remember your resolution?

James's suggestion hit the spot with Alice and me. We're both project people at heart who love to finish things. Novels. Babies. Short-term contracts.

But in a small business the key people are forced to be management people too, doing daily housework as well as building the garden shed. I'm a list-lover, always with 3 or 4 checkboxes to tick in the diary so that at the end of the day I can look back and think, "Yes, you did achieve something today." Know the feeling?

So when Alice and I sat down for our first proper meeting of 2013 we did as James said. Amidst the turmoil of the business environment and the checkbox churn and the b-i-i-i-i-g work of strategy steering, now we each have 3 important, achievable tasks to finish by the end of April. Wins that will make a difference.

Unfortunately I can't claim that ours will be drug-free wins. But (in our defence) we have never deceived the public about our drug use and it is endemic in the business community.

Coffee. Twice a day.

Thank you James.


Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine


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