New Year, New Beginnings

Happy New Year!

What do you like about something new? Maybe it is the unique smell of a new car. A new well-pressed suit stands out. We also look forward to moving into a new home. Even when we get a new phone, a new laptop or a new kitchen item we often look forward to trying it out. In the world of business, the introduction of new technologies is commonplace. A new CEO may come on board or we might move into new offices. Some businesses go through a rebranding process and everything looks new or they go through a transformation process. Sometimes, we do not like the new; we are more at ease with the status quo. We do not often like change; change means making adjustments, it means learning and getting out of our comfort zone.

Looking back into 2020, we had many new beginnings than endings. Some of the new beginnings and endings in 2020 were not expected. It reminded us that we live in a world that is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA). The US military first introduced the VUCA concept in 1987 to define the post-Cold War global security environment. During the year, businesses operated in a highly volatile and uncertain environment. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed many industries to the edge. In particular, there was a major slowdown in the travel and tourism industry. In addition, the disruption of supply chains and workplaces was evident. Besides, there was the launching of new careers and new businesses and some people moved locations.

As businesses usher in 2021, they need to consider it yet another opportunity. It is an opportunity to make a fresh start and to get better at who they are, and what they do. A new year, a new month and even a new day is a new chance. As we witnessed in 2020, plans may not always work but we need to be ready to adapt. Despite this, it is crucial to move on with what every day, every year has to offer. We need to do so with hope and aspirations. What new beginnings is your business expecting this year? As a businessperson, as a staff, or as an individual, how are you getting ready for both the expected and the unexpected in 2021? We learnt many lessons in 2020 that we could apply in this New Year. We learnt how to be resilient and recognized the need for agility and adaptation.

Smart business leaders can manage even in the most challenging and unprecedented times. They do so by recognizing that the business environment is dynamic; they get ready for change. They make a choice not to focus on the failures of yesterday, but to start every day with an ounce of positivity based on new possibilities. We may not be able to envision the whole year. However, we can take a step every day! Let us identify what needs a fresh start in our lives and our businesses. What new chapter are you opening in 2021? What will be in that chapter?

Dr Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer. Connect via Twitter @KiruthuLucy

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