“Tis the season: New Year’s Resolutions”
It’s the New Year and the popular thing to do is to “resolve to do something better” this year than last year, and in years past—not a bad idea. The problem with New Year’s Resolutions isn’t the Resolutions themselves, but maybe the motivation, or the lack thereof, behind them.
I have a friend who used to drink too much, and then drive too much. He knew on all levels this was a bad thing, but he continued anyway. But he finally quit drinking because he was diagnosed with diabetes. He made a good resolution, with effective follow-through, not just because it was a good idea—it had
always been a good idea—but because of a really good motivation. He had plenty of good, intellectual, reasons to quit this destructive behavior years ago, but it took a hard, in-your-face, reality check to make it happen.
Is that a model that we should follow? Definitely not. But it is a good metaphor for our business relationships and hard decisions that we put off until cold, hard, reality force our hand. Do we wait to do the right things only after our business is ‘diagnosed’ with serious problems, or are we proactive at seeking out discord and dysfunction in our work teams?
Only intentionality can overcome inertia. The workplace will continue to grind forward unless we invest something to intercept and alter its direction. The investment in prevention is much less than the cost of a cure down the road.