Welcome to suburbia

I've finally plucked up the courage to set-up an online blog. I'm going to endeavour to blog as often as possible to share my thoughts, to share some articles and news i find interesting, and also use it for my private reflections (you guys won't get to see that!). Also i hope people will read and comment on some of my posts.

The spur for deciding to set-up a blog has been my studies through the Open University. They encourage learning and reflection, and collaborating with others.

Friday, 11 January 2013

2013 in a word?

Here comes an obligatory welcome to 2013, goals, life changing resolutions, inspiring words from life coaches, articles on how to make the most out of it etc etc post.

The beginning of any new year has this sort of stuff flying off the online shelves. But perhaps with the ever increasing importance of the social web over the last year, this year’s kick off has seen an explosion in the amount of advice available to those unable to decide for themselves.

The only article to sustain my interest was “The most productive way to meet your company’s goals this year: one word” by Jon Gordon. Who, despite having an exceptional irony threshold by having the longest article title for a topic about one word, tapped into my love for keeping things simple. Essentially (for those so jaded by all of the other 2013 articles they’ve read) Jon says that companies that chose strategies that can be summed up in a word stand a much better chance of seeing them executed. He also pulled out a great example of how to get staff involved (for their personal as well as business goal/s) at Charlotte-based Hendrick BMW.

This bears some resemblance to an MBA concept I came across; Strategy as Simple rules (Eisenhardt and Sull, 2001). In this case the authors are advocating a short list of rules that determine how to respond to everyday decisions in a way that is consistent the agreed strategy.

Gets you thinking…. Doesn't it? What would my word be? Etc. I guess it struck such a chord because my other half and I, whilst driving too and from the UK for Christmas, were talking about what our first full year in Europe would look like. Having got through the transition year and the disruption that spending time apart brings; what would our new normal mean? Those that know me well will not be surprised that I picked F as a letter that would mean a lot to us in 2013, and of course they would know that one word would prove far too restrictive!

If I had to pick one word, it would be Fitness. Fitness in the physical as well as the mental sense. Obviously heading towards the big 3 0 means you have to start looking after yourself more/better. But also living in a new culture and country and environment, how could you ignore the opportunities to stay mentally fit; intellectually stretched and personally developed?

Anyway those goals in full; Fitness, French, Food, Friends, Finances, Family. Not in any order of course, all equally important, and resonate equally with the two of us.

Anyway another thing this whole end/begin period did was remind me of a great (and oft quoted) article by Clay Christensen; how will you measure your life. I won’t pontificate on what it means to me, but instead will just lay the theory out there;

Q. How can I be sure I’ll be happy in my career?
Q. How can my family relationships be happy?
Q. How can I stay out of jail?

Clay says the process is pretty simple; create a purpose (strategy) for your life and apply it everyday, allocate your resources to meeting that purpose, be able to communicate that purpose widely and win over those that are skeptical And for all those nursing the early failure of their resolutions, his advice is to avoid “the just this once… it is easier to hold your principles 100% than just 98% of the time”

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