A Publication of WTVP

New Year’s Day—for one brief moment we reflect on the past year and the potential of things to come.

Then the promises start. New Year’s resolutions are the manifestation of our hopes for the current year. They redefine our sense of purpose and give us direction. We recognize that dwelling on the past year’s events is reactive. Now is the time to be proactive.

Inevitably, we’ll make some type of resolution for the New Year. Often, as business people, we don’t challenge ourselves to make personal resolutions. We know what personal resolutions can mean. They can mean commitment to a new direction; an uncomfortable alternative we know is better for us but still hard to do.

This year, think about a new kind of resolution—one we can all stand behind without a huge amount of risk. This year, let’s resolve to be “fast followers.”

The resolution to be a fast follower primarily involves waiting until someone else proves a method actually works. All we have to do is watch for best practices in any of our respective disciplines and then follow the group that’s proven a best way to do things. Then just do it. Do what they did, in a different city or a different company. The key here is to look, follow, and then do it.

There’s a pitfall attached to this type of resolution. And, unfortunately, the pitfall is one we encounter all too often in our fair community. The pitfall is a loss of momentum. This loss of momentum occurs when we look at the best practice, and then study it to see if it will work for us.

For example, imagine I see someone eating apples from a tree. Sounds like a good idea, right? I approach the tree. Then I pick an apple, but instead of eating it I transport it back to the lab to see if it really is an apple. I analyze it to see if it will satisfy our nutritional needs and if it is, indeed, the best apple we could find. In the mean time, five other people have discovered the tree and are already enjoying the apples. If I had only adopted the fast follower resolution, I would be realizing the true benefits of the apples. 

The moral of the story is, when you’re hungry and you see the other guy eating the apple, just eat the apple.

Here are some other great resolutions that, with a little bit of effort, will bring great rewards.

Are we ready for the future? The future of world business is changing rapidly. The leaders driving tomorrow’s growth companies will be like none we’ve seen before. These pacesetters will be young and fast. They might not look like us, and they don’t always act like us, but we need them. It will be up to us to give them the opportunity to make their way to central Illinois. If we want tomorrow’s jet-propelled companies and the quality jobs that they bring, we need to welcome their leaders and embrace the change that comes with them.

This New Year brings with it uncertainty. What is certain, however, is that things are moving in central Illinois. Make a resolution to change your outlook. Together, we can realize a groundbreaking New Year for central Illinois. IBI