• By Steven Wallace

New Year Resolutions

Happy New Year!

Have you made your New Year’s resolutions? In case you didn’t know, it’s the time of the year when people make resolutions for the year ahead. So if you haven’t made them yet, it’s too late and you have to wait until next year to change something in your life. Sorry! ;-)

Also January is when most companies will roll out the "Objectives for 2018". This may be in the form of yearly objectives developed at an offsite with the executive team, Hoshin Kanri, OKRs or some other system that helps the company focus on what needs to be achieved.

In Drive To Improve we have been working for the past 3 years without objectives. We may try sometime in the future but as long as our vision and purpose is clear, we don't really need objectives per se. We'll keep you up to date if we do begin to use objectives.

Our personal resolutions

In the case of individuals' New Years resolutions, here's what each has in mind* :
Dani - "Not to have another baby"
Nino - "Have a baby"
Manu - "Run a mountain marathon naked"
Steven - "Not to start smoking"
*Are any of these true?

Drive To Improve's New Year's Resolutions with a twist

Could 2018 be our year of “no”? It’s incredibly healthy and a necessity to say No as a business. Instead of telling you our resolutions, these are the things that we are quite sure that we won’t be doing in 2018 :

Contracting Scrum Masters and sending them to companies

Often we are asked if we could provide Scrum Masters to work in companies that we collaborate with. They could be relatively short term roles of helping a team until a permanent Scrum Master is incorporated or slightly longer 6-12 month contracts. At the moment we don’t want to hire employees to work as Scrum Masters in other companies. We want to provide expertise in agile coaching and not become account managers making sure that everything is ok in the company. While we have worked as managers in various capacities, we wish to concentrate on adding real value to companies we work with. We can help them look for Scrum Masters or train others to become Scrum Masters, but we won't be "providing" any this year.

Focus on increasing the revenue

Most companies wish to grow their revenues year on year. This could be due to shareholder pressure, needing to show growth in order to sell in the future or other reasons which are normal in the business world. However in 2018 we will not be focusing on increasing revenue. If it happens, fantastic, don’t get me wrong.

That means we will not work longer with a client than really necessary. If there are other options, we will gladly recommend them. That means that we will not put +20 people in the same course.  The student remains the most important element and we want to give each student space to ask questions, create a connection with other participants and provide the most personalised experience possible.

Work five days a week with companies

This is something that happens and while it’s not bad, we don’t want to work five days a week with companies. We want continue to provide an excellent service; building honest and transparent relationships with companies; continue growing individually and also Drive To Improve as a company (learning rather than revenue). Therefore we’ve found that we cannot do that working five days a week with clients.

Apart from having a company to run, learning and improving are key factors in our area of work. We need to share our knowledge with each other and help one another with any possible issues. Most of our job involves thinking. Deep analytical thinking to solve complex problems. That deep analytical thinking becomes difficult if you are 100% with clients. We aren't lazy, we just want to be good at what we do.

And now your turn...

Those are the things we won't do in 2018. In terms of what will we do, we'll see. We don't have a crystal ball and we don't have the rigidity of having to make those objectives now.

I'm sure that someone has asked you "What are your New Year's Resolutions?". Well, we ask you "What are the things you will consciously not do in 2018?".

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