Like a slap on the forehead....2016. it's. here. now. It seems not 5 minutes ago that I was plotting my course through 2015 planning my vision, how I was going to pull it off and what my strategy would be. I'm not sure the dust has settled quite yet and now this year became last year and next year became this year.
I do have a vague recollection of identifying my vision for this young firm and a handful of idealistic goals. I followed my strategy fairly well for most of the year but didn't take the time to cross check my activities against my plan perhaps as often as I needed. On the other hand, I did have some success on hitting a few goals. So maybe all was not lost and actual progress was made.
This must be what most of my clients feel like. I do recognize the successes I've enjoyed and most importantly that I am indeed on the same track to attain my goals and maintain my vision. I'm not one that believes the vision and goals change year to year. However, the strategy to stay on track might vary a little or a lot depending on success and failure, the market shifts, and life in general. And people. Don't under-estimate the human catalysts that are your staff and clients - they can cause ripples in your strategy. Hiring a key player can alter your marketing or your product or service offering. Gaining (or losing) a client can draw down resources intended to be spent in another direction. But maybe that's OK. The human factor is not a bad thing, in fact it's what plans are all about, impacting staff, clients, those in your general sphere of influence and most of all, yourself.
Keeping your eye on the ball, making steady progress towards completion of your goals while being true to your vision is the holy grail. Having a coach, mentor, strategist or consultant to help you put down on paper what you've been thinking but have never crystallized might just help you and your firm get on the right track. It can bring focus to your daily, weekly and monthly actions and before you know it, it will be 2017 and we'll be slapping our heads again.
William M. Burwell is a retired Architect and Interior Designer whose career focused on corporate interior architecture in sole proprietorships, and partnerships from 9 to 120 staff. Bill retired in 2014 and began Burwell Consulting a Firm Marketing and Management Consulting firm, to share the wisdom and experience of those 45 years Bill writes articles sharing his experience in four keystone practice areas: Marketing, Design, Project Management and Practice Management. He graduated from the University of Houston College of Architecture in 1971 and now serves the College on the Dean's Committee on Excellence. Check him out at www.burwell-consulting.com