Magazine article Management Today

Resolutions with a Kick

Magazine article Management Today

Resolutions with a Kick

Article excerpt

Being a manager means you need a better class of new year resolution. Everyone makes the simple negative one-off resolves (booze, fags, pigging out); everyone resolves to work out or to start a nice little course. You need something more conceptual, couched in business school language.

Your resolutions should have something of the strategic about them. They should, for instance have a meta-resolution at their head, an overall objective with elegant sub-sets. Much should be interactive and flexible with a bio-feedback element, Your resolution cascade should be continuously monitored. It must connect through to January 2002 and January 2003. Like Miss Piggy, it must offer a Guide to Life. Think big.

You've got a personal five-year plan, of course, so now's the time to address it, to consider dramatic kick-start action, to build in success criteria and review dates. It's time to decide whether it's all linear and gradualist or whether you could do with a bit of calculated bongo action -- something to help you and the system decide whether you're up or out this year.

Bongo action, I should explain, is an idea originated in Finland and it derives from ways of testing telecoms systems for freak incidents, which in turn becomes a metaphor for a way of testing corporate structures and your role in them. The idea is that you do something ostensibly quite batty -- stripping off like the Ikea man with the tattoos, for instance -- to show a business truth, demonstrating your insane devotion to the corporate cause. It'll be calculated because you'll have your cover story ready, you'll have chosen your time and you'll know what you're bargaining for. And you'll know that, whatever it is, it isn't a hanging offence. And you'll have seen the headhunters in advance. That's the Finnish manoeuvre, anyway.

This is the year, for instance, when you decide whether to start Newco, so your resolution details what the process should be, what you should know by when and how you'll establish what head and heart have to say. That's modern management.

It might not be Newco. It might simply be going freelance. If the urge is uncontrollable, work out what one thing will get you out there, and then resolve to do it. You could try your first bit of experimental moonlighting. …

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