It seems that everyone is jumping into the New Year and some have already started working hard towards their goals.
However, it is my strong belief that if you rush into the new year without first evaluating the previous year, we might actually be committing the same mistakes without even learning from them. I realized that what separated wise people from the rest are that they consistently reflect on their actions. They become conscious of what is working and not working in their lives.
Here are some questions which I think can spur some insights that will help you into the new year.
Spend time reflecting among yourself and if possible, spend some time with your team members as well.
- What are you proud of in the previous year?
- What worked for you in the past year?
- What do you need to stop doing in your life right now?
- What do you need to be more disciplined in?
- What are the small steps you can take in what you have written above?
Allow me to share what worked for us in Deep Impact at one of our evaluation sessions (Question 2):
One of the things that we identified in our company that was important was the ability to create a play-time in our company. This means that once a month, we will take an afternoon off and have some time of fun together.
We decided that this time had to be spent on enjoying life, such as watching movies together, trying new places to eat, taking hikes or playing board games. This created better staff engagement and also a time to enjoy the work of our hands, rather than constantly running from one project after another.
While this play-time might not make sense to others, we have found out that this created an experience that everyone was looking forward to. We created shared experiences where we just enjoy each other’s company and presence. This created a lot of intimate conversations about life, meaning and purpose, which sometimes get lost when we are frantically working.
Having fun and crazy moments like this (yes, we were ‘captured’ by the storm troopers from Star Wars while having a Christmas Eve lunch together at the Changi Airport) creates memories we won’t forget.
Another thing that worked for us tremendously in Deep Impact was our focus on creating a meaningful client experience. We realized that clients who bought from us did not just want to play and have fun in team building programs, a lot of them wanted to get their participants to learn and benefit from it. It had to be fun, but it also had to be meaningful. Even the training programs were updated merticulously and we paid attention to small details like ensuring that case studies were properly presented. We even ensured that what is presented in the slides were also consistent with the training notes (word for word). We paid attention to small details to ensure a good client experience.
However, there were some parts of our operation which were not consistent in creating this experience. For example, a particular venue was already booked by one of our staff but because he was not around, the other colleague who took over called to book the venue as well.
There was a slight duplication of work and we managed to reduce all these by creating a centralized calendar where all events and training were keyed into it. It showed what was done and what needed to be followed up on. We literally systemized everything that we did, so that we will not forget anything in the process.
The constant short communication sessions we had every week helped to smoothen the operation flow and helped us to all work together towards creating a better client experience. Short team discussions constantly helped to get our team to talk about important issues and we are always asking what are the small steps we can take to deal with a particular issue.
This is important because some issues can be really big and cannot be solved quickly. But everyone can take small steps towards tackling it. This has helped us in creating optimism in solving difficult issues and also a sense of progression in what we do.
So, I’m curious to hear from you after you have reflected on the questions above. Do share it with me! 🙂