Mainstream media keep reminding us 2016 was a shite year. Perhaps it was? it certainly was a year of surprises. Celebrities (as we call them) have aged and started popping off in record numbers, UK citizens decided it was time to exit Europe, US citizens decided to elect a reality TV start as their next President. Closer to home our most popular Prime Minster resigned with 2 days notice – and there was no scandal involved. Many surprises.

Perhaps it was really a year to learn from? These and other events tell us a great deal – Our population is ageing so we need to prepare for the economic and social impacts this will bring. Globalisation is hurting at a grass roots level. Civil wars and radicalism are having a massive impact on Western societies.

The three key lessons we can learn from 2016 that apply on so many levels are:

  1. Never assume we can predict an outcome
  2. We need to listen to voices beyond our own echo-chambers
  3. Prepare for the impact of change
How do we approach 2050 plans?

Just before Christmas I was humbled to be invited to the Moxie Sessions as a speaker alongside the fabulous Frances Valintine, Kiwi Education Entrepreneur; and Andy Hamilton of IceHouse. The topic this month was “2016 in review and a peek at the future”. One theme that emerged during the discussion was the role of those 2020 Strategies businesses (and governments) around the globe have been executing towards – often called Vision 2020 (this link takes you to google “2020 strategy” so you can see the sheer volume).

As I write this on the last day of 2016 there are only 1096 days until 1 January 2020, so it’s a date looming large on the horizon. People started writing their 2020 plans in the 00’s, when a 10 or 20 year horizon seemed quite reasonable, now with 2020 looming we realise Technology Disruption has escalated beyond our wildest dreams during this period. What have businesses and governments learnt and in turn used to inform a revised strategy beyond 2020?? Do any of us have the minds to predict how our world will look in 2050?

With the future of work as we know it in the balance, along with the aforementioned surprises 2016 has taught us we need to reconsider the possibilities of progress and change. In 2000 concepts like integration between health insurance and fitness trackers, consumers using augmented reality apps to make purchasing decisions and, at a time we were barely mobile, how quickly we will move to non-screen based control systems – cars, appliances, heavy machinery, all devices integrated and controlled with our voices – were virtually inconceivable.

Reality is disruption is good and bad, we have massive issues in play as a planet so need to take a broader impact view when setting goals and planning than past generations could.

Keep Track of the good AND the bad

img_0082In this climate of “2016 was a shite year roll on 2017” it’s a good reminder we need to keep track of both the good and the bad.

I’ve written a few blogs in the past about goal setting, how OptimalBI engages in setting Personal Expert Goals with our staff, 5 Tips for setting goals (they are pretty good tips reading them again), and once long ago about whether New Years resolutions have a place in Business.

Depending on your perspective at a given time it can be easier to be a Pollyanna or a Grinch, reaching our potentials and effectively participating in society, family and work-life requires a balance of both. Good things can be minor and incremental so we often don’t take as much notice of them, whereas bad often slap us in the face. Setting goals is a great way to see progress and keeping track of that progress is rewarding I promise.

2016 was a very mixed year for me personally, with high-highs and low-lows, I enjoyed winning an award and a fabulous holiday but I also know more about both the medical system and the mental health system than ever before. Along with the three lessons at the start of this blog I have learned that when times are tough it is hard to see a way forward, not to take my support network for granted and people are genuinely wonderful!

One thing is certain, 2017 will be a different year! so lets all make the most of it. Vic.