It’s 2019. Another year gone, another year of potential ahead. Most businesses take this time to announce new goals, launch new initiatives, and really focus on what they want to accomplish in the coming year.
There’s an interesting statistic about new year’s resolutions. 80% of them are abandoned by early February. 80% of new year’s resolutions last one month.
There are often strong parallels between the business world and the personal lives of the people who make up the business community. New year’s resolutions are very similar to new year’s business goals. They are strongly communicated, shared with everyone, and mostly abandoned in Q1.
This is because most businesses have a strong sense of what they want to accomplish, but a weak sense of why it matters. That 20% of new years resolutions that don’t get abandoned? They’re made by people who know why they started in the first place. I don’t mean things like, “I want to lose weight” or “I want to have a great body.” I mean REAL reasons.
When a person understands why a thing is important to them, what they have to do becomes automatic. Victor Frankel, the famed Holocaust survivor and author of “Man’s Search for Meaning” says, “With a strong enough why, a man can withstand almost any how.” This is no different for businesses. Businesses are simply collections of people. If an organization has a goal or an initiative, the reason why matters. It matters to the people in the organization, it matters to the people who lead the organization, and it matters to the people who buy from the organization.
“More revenue” is not a why. “Better products” is not a why.
For the person who wants to stick to their new year’s resolution, they might examine their lives for the deeper reasons behind their goal. “Losing weight” is likely to prove a weak reason when the box of donuts is calling or it’s Friday night on the strip. If, however, the why sounds more like, “I want to live the fullest and longest life possible so that I can make the biggest impact I am able on the world. Losing weight is imperative this goal so that my body can function at the levels I need it to.” That’s a why that carries weight. No pun intended.
This applies to the business world as well. A corporate goal of “more sales” means nothing to frontline salesmen or customer service representatives. However, “We believe sustainable agricultural practices are imperative to the health and wellness of both our planet and the humans who live on it Because we are one of only a few companies who care about this, it is necessary that we grow our market share in order to increase our ability to impact this issue.”
In 2019, what if the real resolution was to get reacquainted with why we’re in business instead of what we’d like to accomplish? If we really have a why, if we know the reason behind our organization’s existence, the what will take care of itself.
Happy New Year from Priority Communications!