2012 has been a tough year.

The mining industry has retracted with investment in forecast new projects stalling in around 3 years time. The high Australian dollar has continued to erode traditional industries and to encourage offshore outsourcing. The GFC is still having some lingering effects. The politicians are living up to their Latin namesake – poly = many and tics = blood sucking parasites.

So what will 2013 look like for your company?

If you really want next year to be different to this year there are potentially 5 ‘home truths’ you need to confront.


You don’t have a strategy

In one sentence, what is your strategy?

How does this sentence provide an advantage which will drive your revenues in 2013?

In the workshops and planning sessions I run it’s amazing how rarely people actually have a strategy they can state, which the whole team can understand and get behind. So much effort and money is wasted because businesses simply don’t know what they are going to do. Imagine a general in a war who didn’t have a strategy but simply said “we are on the ground fighting, we don’t need a strategy?”

If you don’t have a one sentence strategy to provide a significant advantage over the competition for 2013 why would things be any different?


Team doesn’t play well togetherDont quit

When I was at Google last month with the awesome guys at EO Vancouver, Rick Klau who used to run YouTube and now runs Google Ventures (Google’s VC fund) said when they buy a business they don’t overly care about the product and actually expect the product to fail and the team to go through another 2 pivots. What they are really buying is the team.

Gazelles faculty member Patrick Lencioni talks about one of the biggest hurdles to a successful growth in his book “The 5 dysfunctions of a team”. In order to have a great team you must:

  1. Have an environment of trust,
  2. Promote healthy conflict,
  3. Ensure people are committed to outcomes,
  4. Have accountability central to the team and
  5. Have results a central objective of the team

How well does your team ‘really’ play together?


There is no purpose to peoples work

Why does this company exist?

If at the water cooler people snigger “so the boss can buy a big boat with girls in bikinis on it” you are missing the point here.

Ask a senior manager, or executive and they will quickly tell you how young people these days don’t have passion and are not motivated. Then ask someone who is in their teens or early twenties and they will tell you how there is nowhere inspirational they can find to want to work for.

Who’s fault is this?

How can you build a great company unless your business is a people magnet?

If you don’t know the purpose for your business how can you get people passionate about the future of your business and your BHAG?


People don’t know how they are going to execute your strategy

I enjoyed breakfast with the smartest person in the cafe this morning and we discussed how the great problem for management is attending a speaker or seminar, getting motivated, trying to implement and then watching this excitement fade as time passes until a new event comes along.

Leaders need to develop a strategy to grow in 2013 and ensure it’s execution. In much the same way that children need to try a food 21 times before they know whether they actually enjoy it or not, managers must push a new initiative at full throttle at least 21 times before it becomes a habit and then continue to ensure this habit is maintained.

After 21 times, a habit will become clear to the team how and why it is executed and you will be given every opportunity to answer questions and ensure its success.

How deeply involved were you in 2012 in turning strategic initiatives into habits?


I don’t know when I am doing well

How does a person know how they are performing?

In the past year, how many people knew exactly what their performance was?

I am not talking about the awkward annual review which neither the manager or staff member enjoys, but the simple numbers which tell a person on a daily basis whether they are performing above the level which is expected, or that they should be considering a new career. Without a clear understanding of what is expected of them, people are unable to perform at their best.

How many of your people know what is expected of them every day in 2013?


In 2013 if you don’t get these 5 elements of growth right in your business, you should expect 2013 to be no different to 2012.

Brad Giles provides growth programs and workshop facilitation for management teams.

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