As Christmas approaches, it’s easy to get tied up with everything that needs to be done and to avoid thinking about next year until there’s time to take a breath amid the chaos of it all.
Instead of waiting till school goes back to think about what you’d like to achieve in 2024, it’s worthwhile taking a little time now to think about your vision for the year ahead.
If you’ve ever had your ‘colours’ analysed by a fashion stylist, you’ll know it’s an interesting exercise that helps you to determine which colours suit you best when it comes to clothing and accessories. I had a lot of fun when I did this. On completing the process, I had a well defined palette of colours to choose from when selecting my next outfit.
As part of this process, I also catalogued my wardrobe. I was pleased to find that most of the clothes I already owned fitted within the preferred colour scheme. Intuitively, I had a sense of what suited me and what didn’t. There are some colours I like better than others, and there’s a good reason for this.
However, there were a few items of my wardrobe that clearly stood out as being the wrong shades. With my new-found knowledge, I was happy to cull these immediately, regardless of how long I may have had them or how much I might have paid for them. I was happy to send a pile of good clothes to the charity shop so that someone else could have use of them.
What’s really powerful about the colour-matching process is that it also let me know which colours to avoid. I can now walk into a clothing store and immediately dismiss anything that’s khaki, gold or brown. I can confidently buy black and white without fear that it’s ‘boring’, instead knowing that it flatters my features. Having a clear vision of what will work makes the decision-making process so much easier.
I can see clearly now
It’s the same when we define the vision for our business – for the long term, or for the year ahead. It’s easy to think of this as an airy fairy concept, and some people are inclined to believe that having a vision is a waste of time. They perceive that, as the world is changing so fast and the future is so uncertain, ‘how can we possibly think ahead?’ But how much time and money do we waste trying on clothes that will never suit us, or buying outfits that we’ll never wear?
Having a clear vision makes all the day-to-day decisions much easier. It provides a yardstick. To work, the vision must be well defined and meaningful. It should also be succinct. If you and the people in your team can’t state your vision off the top of your heads without prompting, then it’s probably too wordy, lacks a meaningful connection, or is ill defined.
An example of a clear and meaningful vision is Volvo Cars’ ‘safety vision’: ‘Aiming for zero’. It’s easy to understand what achieving this vision would look like. For Volvo it means no deaths or serious injuries in cars that they manufacture.
Volvo recognises that the technology in its cars can only do so much and that human behaviour is a key determinant of vehicle incidents. Therefore, as well as its standard safety features, Volvo also focuses on speeding, intoxication and driver distraction in pursuit of its vision.
If you have a vision that isn’t working, it may need to be more clearly thought out. If you’re too caught up in the day-to-day decision making without time to think ahead, stepping back and clarifying your vision is the first move you need to make to get things back on track.
I wish you every success in 2024!
By Dr Monique Beedles.
This article was published in Retail Pharmacy magazine December