That time of year: Planning, planning, planning …..

October 30, 2014

It’s annual planning time of year. With it comes a mixture of emotions. Excitement, as it is a time of reappraisal and setting in place goals for a collective better future; nervousness, as one hopes that the natural swings and roundabouts of business fortune come out in your favour and that the magic target figure is achievable, if all goes according to plan. Nothing ever does go according to plan, yet most of the time, we manage to blend together our business skills and expertise to navigate the barriers that fall in our way and deliver the required result.

On a personal level, I sense some of my friends beginning to set themselves up for challenges in the year ahead too. I few questions, subtly couched, in “what would you think if?”, or “I wish I could do this”, or “Do you think I’d be any good at this?”.

It comes back to a favourite cliché, that the only constant is change. Both in business and in life, I believe that the concept of creative destruction applies. Creative destruction describes the “process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionises the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.” The analogy works in all aspects life too. For some, it is all too daunting a concept, and they look to the security blanket of the familiar to try their best to defy change of any sort. Others, jump recklessly in with both feet, irrespective of consequences.  These dual human traits spawn whole industries in themselves. Self-help, any sort of improvement programmes, and dare I say, the classic New Year’s resolution of joining the gym could all fall into the category of whether we deny or embrace creative destruction. As with most industries, the success or failure of them revolves around the marketing. Be it highlighting the problem and then, conveniently, providing the solution or simply making people aware that there is another way to live their lives. For the individual or indeed the business to make the decision that is best for them, a period of reflection and appraisal is necessary to make sure we make the best choices to guide us through the next stage of our existence. It can be tough, it can be intellectually challenging but it’s an aspect of business life that means I enjoy this time of year with all the excitement and nervousness that it brings.

Tim

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