Business transformation is not as simple as wiping the slate.

Pop! There goes another cork flying through the air as New Year celebrations are in full swing. The champagne is flowing and the tales of future success are growing with each glass of alcohol. What a great time to plan your future success in business!

Well – not really. It is a common mistake I see in business. A new year starts and some drastic plans are put in place. “We must change this and change that and it all starts on 1 January,” says the frustrated business owner to his staff just before Christmas.

The mistake is that some business owners think that business change, like computer code, is binary. It is black and white. The reality is that the real time to make a change to your business is today. And tomorrow. And the next day. Successful business owners see change as a continuum rather than as a switch.

My advice to people is to make no change whatsoever on 1 January. Any drastic changes made on 1 January will be slightly eroded by 15 January and completely gone by 1 February. Have weekly business development meetings or monthly progress discussions. Entwine the concept of constant change in every fabric of your business and you will be amazed at how your business continues to grow.

I have sometimes talked to staff at various organisations after they have just had an annual staff review. They walk out of the meeting devastated. They didn’t know they were performing so poorly or they didn’t know how their job was having such a negative impact on the entire organisation. This is terrible. I have often spoken to employers and told them there should never be a surprise for a staff member in an annual review.

Ensure there is a constant flow of communication between staff and management and then an annual review is simply a way of confirming what everyone already knew.

Business planning processes are identical. You should never sit down at the end of a financial year, look at the bottom line and break down in tears. You need to be constantly monitoring your performance and making changes along the way. When you look at your final figures they should simply confirm what you already knew to be true.

I know this sounds all very much like I’m taking the fun out of New Year but you can still have a good time with the rollover of the calendar year. Get your staff together and have them all write down their best tech prediction for 2013 and seal them in envelopes.

At the Christmas party for 2013 open the envelopes and whoever was closest with their prediction (as voted by the group) wins a prize. At a staff function early in the New Year ask all the staff for the biggest tech achievements and disappointments for the previous year. It will really drive home what a fast-changing industry we are in and reinforce the concept that change in this industry is constant.

When I was younger and braver I used to make my top 10 tech predications on my first radio program for the year. After the host started reading them out on my last show for the year, I stopped making predictions because you soon see how foolish they look – in only 12 months.

Despite my reluctance to support the concept of resolutions for the New Year, it can be a great time to clear the mind and come back refreshed after watching too much cricket over the break.

Keep an eye out for me at the SCG while we watch Sri Lanka put to the sword and when you see me, tell me your number one resolution for 2013 or email me your resolution at

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