2017: My Business Year In Review

Conducting a “year in review” process is incredibly useful. It can also be excruciating, because looking back at the good & bad of the past year forces us to confront uncomfortable realities. It serves as a window to evaluate goals, examine priorities, and identify where we’ll focus our energy in the coming year.

In this post, you will hear how my Year In Review has strengthened me as a business owner. I’ll share what happened for me professionally in 2017, what worked and what didn’t, and some lessons learned.

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5 Reasons to Share a “Year In Review” of Your Business

Facing the good and bad of the past year takes courage, especially in re-living painful experiences. But self-evaluating the highs and lows in your past year is just the first step.

Sharing your findings with the entire world takes it to a whole new level.

In this post, I’ll talk about the benefits and downsides of making your Year In Review public, and why we’re afraid to fail.

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How to Do a Year In Review

It’s that time of year… to review whether you have reached your goals!

As a business owner, you may feel ready to leave last year behind and move forward—especially if you’ve experienced failure: Disappointing sales, high staff turnover, unpaid invoices, frustrating delays, or negative outcomes.

financial crisis, downward trend, low profits, decreased revenue, bad results

But we shouldn’t avoid talking about failure. It may be easier to talk about happy things, but there are just as many (if not more) reasons to review the unpleasant ones.

In this post, I’ll explain the benefits of using a Year In Review, and how to start.

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“Employee For a Day”: How to Start

Are your staff afraid to share what is going wrong in your company? Do problems keep happening, and you don’t know why?

A great solution is to step into the roles of your staff and see the situation first-hand.

One fantastic technique is what I call “Employee For a Day.” It is a simple, hands-on activity where an executive leader leaves their role, and she or he sits in the seat of employees to see the organization from their point of view.

In my previous post, I describe what happened when I entered the day-to-day world of my staff. It humbled me, challenged me, and ultimately led to several changes in the organization.

There were a few drawbacks as well. Here are all the dirty details of how to get started.

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What is Strategic Risk, and Why Does It Matter?

When you hear the word “risk,” you probably think of either something dangerous (“don’t do that, you could get hurt!”), or an action that is likely to fail (“if this works out, we’ll be rich; if not, we could lose everything”). But risks are actually neutral; they’re neither good nor bad, but simply describe a degree of uncertainty.

We tend to say that risks are either “positive” or “negative.” But what we’re actually describing is the outcome. If a risk brings a positive outcome, we might enjoy new opportunities and pleasant surprises. If a risk brings a negative outcome, we could experience damage, injury, liability, or loss.

The factors that contribute to outcomes are called threats. Although most threats can’t be eliminated (such as consumer purchase habits, economic instability, and increasing reliance on technology), we can definitely reduce the chance that we will suffer from a negative outcome.

I’m passionate about helping leaders to recognize vulnerabilities in their organization: areas where an attack or loss is likely to occur. In this article, I explain the importance of developing your awareness of risks in a strategic context, the “perfect blend” of strategy and risk, and suggestions for managing them.

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