As we approach this New Year's Day, we have a unique opportunity. Though we are usually tough and optimistic people, it is sometimes difficult to shake off the depression of so many things going bad. New Year's presents the ability to have courage to plan for improvements that we otherwise think unlikely. It provides an occasion to shake off the melancholy feelings and fear and to embrace the future as we see it.
We call this forward thinking - resolutions. Many of us adopt them this time of year both for our companies and for ourselves. Resolutions help redefine our sense of purpose and give us direction. While we have been reactive to many of 2001 events, this is the time to be proactive about what we hope to happen in 2002. And, as we prepare for a hoped for better year, the Louis Carroll quote above summarizes why we should make those resolutions.
So as we stand poised to enter this hopeful new year of 2002, I'd like to suggest some resolutions.
Optimism. Corporate technology does not live in a vacuum. It is a vehicle and tool in an overall strategy for competitiveness, success, and growth. Vince Lombardi said, "The difference between a successful person is not lack of strength, not lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will." Will begins with optimism that the future can be better than the past. This requires personal resolve first by leaders of any organization to infect the business with a "can do" attitude. Once a business is excited about the potential of its future (obviously not unreasonable exuberance), the technology needs can be properly planned. Let us resolve to try to be optimistic about our personal and professional futures.
Planning. Defining resolutions without a concrete action plan is silly. Optimism without a game plan is a gamble. Beyond budgetary planning, which is an absolute must for any business, now is a good time to resolve to spend some time developing a strategic plan and include an element for technology's role in that plan. Let me again refer to the quote at the start of this column.
Disaster recovery. More than ever, this year has underscored the criticality of a disaster recovery preparedness and planning. While I have devoted some time on this topic, we still have a "so much that we need to do, that will have to wait" mentality. Let us resolve to make beginning this process a priority.
Resilience. Even the best of the resolutions have setbacks. We become distracted or begin to feel that our lofty goals are so far out of our reach that we could never achieve them and give up. Let us resolve to adopt resilience and tenacity to keep meeting our goals or to change them, but never out of fear or hopelessness. The people of New York City have demonstrated this ferocity of purpose this year and we should learn from them. And included in this resolution should be technology initiatives that have promise for our businesses, but have endured setbacks based on the economy or other factors.
Giving something back. In my New Year's column last year, I talked about extending our extraordinary kindness and charitable beyond the holiday season. The outpouring of kindness, following September 11, demonstrated the compassion and sensitivity that we all share for our less fortunate brethren at a time of need. Let's resolve to use this time to make a year round commitment to improving opportunity and the world for others, especially children. If not for the better good, children represent the future workforce and leaders of society.
Still, even with all the resolve, planning, and hope that we have laid as a foundation for 2002, we must still heed the advice of a strategist experienced with things not going as desired or planned. Let us not forget the words of now Secretary of State Colin Powell: "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."
If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there.
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