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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wish List for 2013

‘Tis the season for making lists and checking them twice, and I’m betting that one of those lists that you’ll be spending time on has to do with work and your wishes for making meaningful improvements. Am I right? Don’t we all want to make a fresh and improved start in January? Well, if you’re like me you’ll be setting goals for improving workplace productivity, relationships, and fun. Here are five tips on how to narrow down those wishes to the most important ones that will have the greatest positive impact.
  1. Identify what is no longer going to be something that you do. I think this is critical. Don’t keep spending time and energy on tasks, people, customers, reports, problems, or whatever it may be, that don’t make you happy or support getting your organization to its goals. Take the time to be clear about what you should be doing, as well as what you shouldn’t, before you go any further with your list making.
  2. Make this the year of the elephant. So often I see organizations tip-toe around issues, personalities, and/or problems that are obvious to everyone. No one wants to "rock the boat." But at the same time, isn’t that elephant sitting in on and disrupting every meeting, taking advantage of privileges, leading managers around by the nose, or stirring up one conflict after another? Isn’t the result of appeasing the elephant weighing down your organization’s morale, energy, leadership confidence and overall productivity? Utilizing a planned and focused organization development methodology to address and eliminate the elephant can be just the spark your organization needs to set 2013 on fire.
  3. Don’t take it all so seriously. I’m not advocating you relax the quality of your work or the commitment you have to your organization. What I am suggesting is that you wish for and find a way to balance personal time with time dedicated to hard work, 24/7 expectations, and an economy that appears it will remain anemic for the next 12 months or so. Somewhere in among all the things you’re doing you need to have fun. That can be a collective fun with workplace potlucks or planning time for personal breaks, or whatever you enjoy that can recharge you. If you’re looking for a fabulous book on the importance of play and creativity don’t miss reading Play, by Dr. Stuart Brown.
  4. Make learning a priority. Professional development is one of the key areas that has been cut during this recession. The sad thing about that is that we all need continuous improvement. It doesn’t matter if it’s people skills, leadership techniques, certifications, or staying up to speed on the latest technology impacting the way we work. In this global environment where the only thing we can count on is change, learning is important for sustaining a competitive advantage. In 2013, do what you can to open your organization up again to investing in the minds and spirits of your employees. You may find executive coaching is a great way to invest in development while having the least amount of disruption on productivity.
  5. Play the role of reporter. So much of our focus these days is on "ME." Take 2013 to move that focus to make it all about your colleagues, co-workers, customers, family and new acquaintances. Have an inquiring mind that wants to hear their stories, ideas, opinions and experiences. Learn to use your ears more than your mouth. Value the input and feedback from others and reinforce their value and contributions to the organization. Improving communication and collaboration in the workplace is important for creating and sustaining trust, as well as motivating risk-taking and innovation.
Creating your wish list based on these ideas will go a long way toward introducing and sustaining positive change in your organization, leading to success in 2013.

This article was written by Deborah A. King, SPHR, CEO and Sr. Organizational Effectiveness Consultant with Evolution Management, Inc. Debbie and her team are energized about transforming human performance through the evolution of workplace culture. Contact EMI for more information about how we can assist your organization: www.evolutionmgt.com or 770.587.9032