We are used to New Year messages from politicians; this year we heard great intentions from Theresa May and other world leaders. From North Korea an interesting message was broadcast from leader Kim Jong Un; a surprisingly contrite resolution to serve his subjects better than he had done in 2016; in addition to his more worrying announcement about completion of the intercontinental ballistic missile testing!
Perhaps more surprising was Facebook Mark Zuckerberg’s resolution, this time not a commitment to extending technological advancement, but instead a promise to connect personally with real people all across the USA, some of whom he believes have been left out of the great technological and globalisation revolution of the last 10 years: "This has led to the greatest division I have felt in my lifetime. We need to find a way to change the game so it works for everyone".
2016 has been a tumultuous year, throwing up all sorts of conundrums throughout the world. Traditionally New Year resolutions offer up a chance to take stock, atone, improve, amend or radically change. At a personal level they are often well intended diet and health related ambitions, with most destined to fail within weeks due to a lack of understanding about the complexity of breaking long established habits.
Two favourite phrases left a lasting influence on me from a wise university lecturer "Knowing and doing are two very different things" and "Learn to recognise what is...is". Both speak well to the difficulty of embarking on resolutions to change, with the latter reinforcing the need to have a clear idea of what actually prevails rather than starting from a false belief of reality.
Mark Zuckerberg’s mission is interesting on a number of levels. Perhaps he simply realises the power of what he has created and senses a responsibility to society. Perhaps he has political ambitions. But his resolution to connect more authentically whilst Facebook is winning has a wider message which resonates in our industry; don't wait for a downturn to find out what customers think about your organisation and services. Find new ways to listen, engage and where possible circumvent developments which may be harmful in the long run.
Back to those personal resolutions, as someone who has salami sliced a whole Christmas cake (must be me no one else at home eats it!) I'm in no position to give advice on that score, however for some sound advice and expert top tips on keeping promises to customers you can download our Top 20 Findings from Industry Council 2016 here.